UPDATE 1-Molycorp buys rest of European rare earths plant

Mon Oct 24, 2011 12:54pm BST

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Oct 24 (Reuters) - Molycorp , the largest supplier of rare earths outside China, said it has bought the remaining shares of its Estonia-based processing facility Molycorp Silmet AS.

Molycorp had bought 90 percent of AS Silmet for about $89 million in April.

"We are enthusiastically exploring options for additional upgrades and production expansion at this facility," Molycorp CEO Mark Smith said in a statement.

Molycorp recently established neodymium metal production in AS Silmet, the company said in a statement.

Last week, Molycorp said it will open a California processing plant months ahead of schedule, easing the threat to Western manufacturers posed by Chinese export controls. [ID :nN1E79I1RB] (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)