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Inside the Baron Portfolio: Molycorp
07 Nov 2011 EST - CNBC.com
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In front of six thousand people, Ron Baron—Chairman, CEO and CIO of Baron Capital—opened his portfolio to fund shareholders at his annual Baron Investor Conference.

For 20 years, Baron has given access to these investors to give them the opportunity to ask questions to some of the CEOs whose companies are in his funds. One of those selected this year was Mike Smith, CEO of the rare-earth production company Molycorp.

The company is in the process of a dramatic production expansion in Mountain Pass, Calif. called Project Phoenix and the project is ahead of schedule by three months. Smith told the crowd the facility is being rebuilt to produce up to 40,000 metric tons of rare-earth elements by 2012 — a 700 percent increase from its production target for the end of this year.

LL: What are 5 things people don’t know about Molycorp?

MS: I would say people have no idea how ubiquitous rare earths are in our everyday life. People are in touch with these rare earths in every single thing they do all day long. From solar panels, wind turbines, cars to iPhones and iPads, rare earths play a role in these products.

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