Molycorp will invest $531m to begin construction of its rare earth mine-to-magnets manufacturing facility at Mountain Pass, California, US.

The firm has secured the last of several environmental permits necessary for the construction.

Molycorp CEO Mark Smith said by securing these permits, the construction of the facility will proceed on schedule, with project groundbreaking occurring on 2 January 2011.

“Additionally, we have begun pre-stripping operations of the mine, which is preparing the way for active mining of fresh ore to commence in 2011,” Smith said.