Accelerating the facility’s initial start-up will increase the company’s estimated 2012 production by about 3,500 metric tons, to 8,000 – 10,000 metric tons.

The move will also enable Molycorp to achieve its full Phase 1 production rate of 19,050 metric tons per year of rare earth oxide equivalent three months earlier than previously planned.

Molycorp president and CEO Mark Smith said in anticipation of the facility’s accelerated start-up, the company will commence mining and stockpiling of fresh rare earth ore next week.

The board of directors of the company has authorized an additional investment of $114m, which includes contingency funds, to accelerate the facility’s start-up.