Molycorp On The Prowl For Acquisitions

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Molycorp, the largest U.S.-based rare earths miner, remains on the hunt for acquisitions after making over $106 million worth of deals in April. CEO Mark Smith said in a CNBC interview that his company is ''looking at a number of opportunities'' for deals.

Colorado-based Molycorp (MCP) said on April 18 it will acquire Santoku America, one of the leading producers of high-purity rare earth alloys and metals outside of China, for $17.5 million in cash. That followed an $89 million deal to buy 90% of Estonia-based AS Silmet announced earlier in April.

''Molycorp is always interested in opportunities that increase shareholder value or add to our long-term business strategies,'' Smith said in the CNBC interview. Molycorp is the only U.S.-based company moving forward with a rare earths project of any substance at a time when supply shortages are helping boost prices for rares earths to unprecedented levels.

Comments from Goldman Sachs on that exact issue pressured rare earths stocks today. The bank said demand ''is likely to be met by a surplus of supply by 2013, as Western companies start up new mines to compete with the Chinese firms that now dominate the market.''