Renewed Molycorp sell-off
In lunchtime trade Molycorp was changing hands for $24.37, down $1.06 or 4%, in reaction to a downgrade and as investors continue to digest the company's results out last week.
Last week Molycorp – destined to become the number one producer of the 17 elements outside China – announced it is already halfway in reaching its ultimate production target of 40,000 tonnes per annum and at the same time increased reserves at its Mountain Pass mine 36%.
However, investors are selling off the stock because the average prices Molycorp received for rare earth oxides fell 20% to $95 a kilogram from $120 a kilogram in the final quarter of last year.
Molycorp shares hit a 2012 high of $34.71 on enthusiasm over a ground-breaking deal with Canada's Neo Material Technologies announced in March that gave it access to advanced rare earth processing capabilities and a sales channel into China.
But that euphoria has now evaporated as REE prices in China collapse and consumers in the automotive, high tech and green energy industries scramble to find alternatives.
Tuesday's decline brings Molycorp's losses over the past 12 months to over 60%. The counter hit a high of $77.54 on May 3 2011, but at $2.4 billion is now worth only a third of that in New York.