Molycorp racked with writedown, job cuts

Rare earth miner Molycorp (NYSE: MCP) announced Thursday, due to losses last year, it's taken a $258.3 million impairment charge and plans to cut jobs worth as much as $10 million dollars, reports Reuters.

For the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, the company stated a loss of $359.6 million.

The writedown is related to last year's $1.3 billion takeover of rare earth processor Neo Material Technologies, now called Molycorp Canada.

On the job front, the company didn't say how many positions would be cut back, but claimed they would mainly reduce top management and mining jobs would not be affected.

Molycorp also warned the first half of this year would see a weaker performance than the second half of 2012 as  a result of seasonal variation. It expects the latter half of this year would be better as its Californian Mountain Pass mine achieves commercial production.

Lower rare earth prices in the last year plus higher costs hit the US-based miner hard.

Share value has dropped more than 75% during the last 12 months and Thursday's price on the NYSE settled at $5.99 — well below the original 2010 listing price of $13.25.

Rare earth metals are essential for the production of items like computers, cellphones, rechargeable batteries and cars.

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