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Here's a view overlooking Molycorp's facility in Mountain Pass, Calif., the only rare earth element mine in the United States.
Molycorp, which plans to officially reopen its rare-earth mine in California this week, buys a company which can manufacture neodymium-based alloys for permanent magnets from the minerals it mines.
The planned joint venture would bring manufacturing of rare earth alloys and magnets to the U.S.
Molycorp said Mark Smith's departure from the company, which mines minerals that are crucial ingredients for mobile phones, was unrelated to a regulatory investigation into the company's public disclosures.
Molycorp Minerals seeks to reopen a California mine to extract rare earth elements, a group of metals used for magnets and batteries in hybrid vehicles, wind turbines, and other green technologies.