(Reuters) - Molycorp Inc
The company said it now expects to achieve its Phase 1 run rate of more than 19,000 tonnes of rare earth products a year at the project by mid-2013, pushing back an earlier deadline of the end of 2012.
Molycorp also said it is evaluating its capital needs for the year as it ramps up the newly revitalized rare earth mine and processing plant.
Mountain Pass can be expanded to up to 40,000 tonnes a year, but Molycorp said a Phase 2 build out will depend on market demand and pricing.
The price of the individual rare earth metals and alloys soared in 2010 and 2011 as China, the world's primary producer, clamped down on exports. That sparked a global push to develop new sources of rare earths, which are an key ingredient in an array of consumer items like smartphones and hybrid vehicles.
Prices fell sharply in 2012, as new sources came online and as some customers turned to rare earth alternatives.
Molycorp's shares, which closed at $10.79 on Wednesday, fell to $9.44 in premarket trading on Thursday.
(Reporting by Julie Gordon in Toronto and Sandhya Vijayan in Bangalore; Editing by Janet Guttsman and Maureen Bavdek)
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