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Jack Lifton  

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  • What Now For Molycorp? [View article]
    Sheer hype. Molycorp's mantra is in fact that it's ore contains very little thorium!
    Jul 27, 2014. 01:52 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Now For Molycorp? [View article]
    Lynas, LAMP, was set up for poducing and selling cerium carbonate, lanthanum-cerium carbonate (for FCC), and praseodymium-neodymium carbonate (didymium) for magnet making. It sends its SEG/HREE residues to Solvay, la Rochelle, for toll refining.

    It's model is indeed based on 2009 pricing.

    Its grasp is within its reach!
    Jul 27, 2014. 01:50 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Now For Molycorp? [View article]
    Absolutely in agreement with you.
    Jul 26, 2014. 10:35 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Now For Molycorp? [View article]
    I certainly do not mean to imply that Molycorp could be a producer, much less a "meaningful one, of yttrium or any other mid range or heavy rare earth. In the past its 0.1% (of the TREOs) of europium was the driver for the construction of its separation technology. Today I doubt that it is selling or even producing European competitively.
    Jul 26, 2014. 10:33 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • What Now For Molycorp? [View article]
    I'm sure that this author has good intentions, and he reaches an obvious conclusion, but this article's author is not an expert on the rare earths' markets or on the rare earths. I think that he swallows hook, line, and sinker, the "party" line and the company's promotional hype.
    The demand for a new supply of the size that Molycorp was talking about in 2011, which was an additional supply of 50,000 tons mostly (more than 80%)of the least valuable rare earths that are available in large tonnages, cerium and lanthanum, simply was a fantasy of hope. The speculative boom created in 2011 by Chinese rare earth traders was a blip on an otherwise steady but low growth in REE demand that had been occurring for most of the previous 10 years and has now hopefully resumed from where it left off before the bubble.
    Molycorp hype in 2011 was surreal; the company basically said that increased production would aid in increasing prices even further. Adam Smith's grave was seen to tremble as the sage turned over repeatedly in it.
    Those of you Molycorp investors interested in technology metals should note that new supply is needed only when actual demand overtakes current supply. This is happening in the rare earths markets of neodymium, praseodymium, terbium, dysprosium, ytterbium, and yttrium in varying proportions due to mostly unrelated end-uses in mass produced civilian goods, and to a lesser extent, in SOME NEW military uses.
    Molycorp's mine is not as good a neodymium/praseodymium deposit as Lynas' Mt Weld (Australia) mine, but neither comes close to the cost structure of the Chinese who have plenty of neodymium/praseodymium but not enough of the heavy rare earths the prices of which in China are creeping up.
    The LAWS of supply and demand tell us that we should be looking for those who can produce first of all the heavy rare earths and second of all the light rare earths competitively with the Chinese. Neither of these categories seems to include Molycorp.
    Jul 25, 2014. 01:53 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apollo's Leon Black Seeks Backdoor Takeover Of Molycorp [View article]

    You are absolutely correct. Neo is not now nor was it ever worth what Molycorp paid. Neither was Boulder Wind for that matter.
    Jul 9, 2014. 01:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apollo's Leon Black Seeks Backdoor Takeover Of Molycorp [View article]
    SE, and other learned financiers.

    For what reason would the hedge fund want to take control of Molycorp? It must be to make some (quick?) money, right? NOT to produce products into a market in which the products may well be already in surplus, and in which their are lower cost producers with vast mineral resources, right?

    So, what come to mind is the following scenario:

    1. The fund takes control of Molycorp;
    2. The DIP, the fund, offers to reverse the Neo takeover and sell that company back to its original owner(s) among whom are Constantine Karyannoupoulos, Molycorp's recent CEO and now Chairman who, of course, has resigned from the board, so that HE IS NOT INVOLVED IN THIS DECISION.
    3. The DIP arranges financing for the NEO de-aquisition and that cash zeros out MCP's debt.
    4. MCP is now a large operational mine with a modern solvent extraction plant and much lower costs than the unwieldy conglomerate it used to be.
    5. Time's arrow raises Chinese costs to where the new Molycorp is competitive and of course it is now NON-CHINESE in any way.
    6. MCP stock goes up, Fund sells out, end of story.

    Timeline: Maybe less than 3 years.

    I'm sure that you, SE, and some of your rational commenters will tell me in the lingo of bond traders and short sellers and the like why my scenario is ridiculous, and I would like to know if in fact my scenario can be easily dismissed. So, please, have at it. Demolish this case.

    Thank you,
    Jack Lifton
    Jul 9, 2014. 08:47 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Down Nearly 9% Mid-Day, What Happened? [View article]

    I was first advised in this manner in 2009 when at a San Francisco Hard Assets Conference I gave a talk in which I called the quest to be first to produce rare earths a "horse race." I was told later that a director of a company that I DIDN'T MENTION OR REFER TO IN ANY WAY asked his board to sue me for "not mentioning them."

    The narrow specializations today among educated people is no excuse for ignorance of the fundamental protections of the US Constitution and of Common Law. One does not libel or slander anyone or anything by stating the truth or by stating what a reasonable person would believe to be the truth. If you have a malicious intent, or are legally negligent, then it, the statement of the truth, may be actionable unless the aggrieved party is a public figure or entity such as, for example, the incompetent, ill-prepared, current President of the United States.

    In my opinion the problem at Molycorp is a misguided original business model that was, itself, changed beyond recognition by opportunistic short-sighted "corrections." The market, I believe, is reacting to the outcome of a poor business model. Many people believe that the Molycorp malaise has been caused by the general decline of the market's interest in natural resource "plays." In either case of causation the outcome is the same.

    Sue me if you don't agree.

    Jul 3, 2014. 10:06 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp Is Worth $1.60 Per Share [View article]
    Mr Berger,

    Let's hope that Mr Bedford has asked for possession of the actual share certificate(s). They will then serve as a souvenir of the highest paying job he should and will ever have had. Can you, or any of the others commenting here, give me some data on what the CEOs of the rare earth juniors are earning while, like the producers, Molycorp and lynas, they do not produce any profits?


    Jack Lifton
    Jul 2, 2014. 03:19 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Dangers Of Following Celebrity Stock Picks [View article]

    I have not written a word about Great Western in several years. I was enthusiastic when Great Western devised the first mine to market strategy among the rare earth juniors, but the purchase of LCM was the high point of that strategy and the company has not since managed to achieve what I thought it could. I never received any compensation from GW, and, in fact, I bought its stock at .15 and still held it at .43. I sold at considerably lower than .43, and I have not taken any other positions in any juniors.
    Since you have lost your respect for my opinions I must admit I am of the same mind regarding your opinions about my opinions.
    Molycorp is not a financial institution offering the possibility of a return to those who play its shares in the marketplace. It is a natural resource producer that has not been able to produce its products cheaply enough to make a profit. The only possible salvation for it is would be to be able to sell its products at a profit margin high enough to allow it to retire its debts and maintain a working capital level substantial enough to allow it to continue in business without further borrowing. I doubt that it will survive, because I don't see it becoming competitive in its core markets anytime soon.
    Jun 26, 2014. 09:24 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Grid-Scale Energy Storage; Why Working Capacity And Cycle Duration Matter [View article]
    Jun 25, 2014. 08:13 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: 4 Reasons Why Bondholders Are 'Mullets' [View article]
    Ibot Vested,

    No, because then I would be called a shill for those companies. I get paid by mining/refining clients as a business operations and marketing specialist. I cover the technology metals, of which the rare earths are the largest related group. My paying clients cover the gamut of resources and stages of development. I believe that I am very selective in choosing clients in that I don't want to waste their time or mine if I feel they have little chance of success is PRODUCING and SELLING products.

    My web based information company, Technology Metals Research, LLC, is a partnership between me and Dr Gareth Hatch.

    I operate individually and write publicly as Jack Lifton, LLC, so that TMR can remain neutral.

    Jun 20, 2014. 10:34 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Molycorp: 4 Reasons Why Bondholders Are 'Mullets' [View article]

    If you write "Molycorp [is one of many companies that] mine(s) rare earth minerals....." Then say that "I find it [sad not] funny how they are incapable of turning over a profit." You will have understood their problem
    Jun 20, 2014. 09:37 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Moody's Cuts Molycorp To "Caa2," Notes Debt Level May Be Unsustainable [View article]

    You are exactly right. The survival of ANY mining venture is based on its being competitive in its market at the TIME and PLACE (downstream distance of its "product") it enters that market. The share price of a non-profitable, untested-by-success , venture is only relevant to its (the share price's) impact on whether or not the company can raise OPERATING capital to shore up shortfalls due to its non-profitablilty.
    The rare earth sector's recent history shows that it is operating as just another type of casino chip source in the gaming universe that the stock market has become. Of all the rare earth IPOs in the last 10 years only Molycorp and Lynas were large enough to fund their (at the time announced) development to profitability models. Both original models were flawed and both have failed. Both are trying to operate as patchwork quilts of ideas about markets and products.

    The global market needs rare earths, heavy rare earths in particular, in order to produce more consumer products. I think that the smaller rare earth ventures have learned the lesson of too big to succeed from Molycorp and Lynas, but in the near term that won't impact China's monopoly position.

    As far as your point that "...Erudite discussions about the fundamentals of the company seem to have little predictive value for stock pricing,...," I personally do not believe that stock pricing has much, if anything, to do with production that could arise from flawed business models.
    Jun 20, 2014. 09:29 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Moody's Cuts Molycorp To "Caa2," Notes Debt Level May Be Unsustainable [View article]

    In the article at the link, from May 29, 2014 you said:

    " recycling wastewater from Molycorp's separation processes, the company is expected to become the low-cost producer of rare earths. However, that best-in-class production cost is predicated on production volume of 19,000mt to 20,000mt, which Molycorp has not come close to reaching...."

    This was all based on the "narrative" that completion of a "chlor-alkali" plant was somehow going to produce the miracle of "recycling waste water..." In fact it was that this operation was taking so long and generating so much expense [more than 35 million dollars just to dispose of waste water in the last year!] that was causing the chemical (mining) engineering world to think it was miraculous that such a F.U. had occurred after all of the money spent by Molycorp in planning and construction. It is NORMAL practice to recycle unused reagents from "waste" streams. Mining professionals read the story as incompetent management not as any miracle. Yet writers on SA and other article compendia panted breathlessly about the completion of the "chlor-alkali" plant as the path to successful LOW COST mass production.

    Share, debt, and derivative pricing manipulation cannot lower costs or maximize efficiency or correct engineering and marketing management mistakes.

    For your enlightenment you need to be aware of the fact that the Molycorp "chlor-alkali plant" excuse has become a "It was George W . Bush who did it" type of excuse in the mining world. I even actually heard a guy (a junior rare earth mining venture employee) in a bar say to a girl, "Do you want to go to my room and see if my chlor-alkali plant is working?"

    The fault lies not in their chlor-alkali plants but in themselves.
    Jun 19, 2014. 10:07 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment