NATURAL BRIDGE, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--ERP Strategic Minerals, LLC (ERP), a mining entity owned by Tom Clarke, has entered into an agreement with Oaktree Capital Management, L.P. (“Oaktree”) for the equipment relating to the Mountain Pass Mine Rare Earths mine (“Mountain Pass”) owned by Oaktree. This was an open issue to allowing the Mountain Pass mine sale to be completed more efficiently and ERP has addressed that issue in connection with its stalking horse bid. ERP has informed the Chapter 11 Trustee of this development.
ERP was selected as the stalking horse bidder by the Chapter 11 trustee, Paul E. Harner, for Molycorp Minerals, LLC and related entities (the “Debtors”) and entered into an asset purchase agreement with the Trustee to purchase substantially all the assets and the surface real property rights of the Debtors at Mountain Pass. The purchase agreement has been filed with the US Bankruptcy Court in Delaware, together with a sale motion seeking the Court’s approval of the sale under section 363 of the Bankruptcy Code.
The Mountain Pass mine, located in San Bernardino County, California, approximately 50 miles south of Las Vegas, Nevada, is the only mine and processing facility for rare earths minerals in the United States. The mine has an operating history dating back to the 1950s and was most recently placed on care and maintenance after the Debtors filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in 2015.
To assist with restarting the Mountain Pass mining and processing operations, ERP intends to assemble a consortium of highly experienced mining experts and professionals to support the restart. ERP is collaborating with Pala investments Limited and Peak Resources Limited, which have deep industry knowledge in the rare earths sector and substantial specialist mining expertise, regarding their involvement in the restart and operation of Mountain Pass.
About ERP Strategic Minerals, LLC
ERP is owned by Tom Clarke who, in conjunction with other partners, has successfully completed 7 acquisitions out of bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in the past two years. These operations include the second largest coking coal producer in North America, merchant coke batteries, an iron ore pellet production business, and related mining operations with over $2 billion in forecasted aggregate revenue in 2017.
About Oaktree Capital Management, L.P.
Oaktree is a leader among global investment managers specializing in alternative investments, with $100 billion in assets under management as of March 31, 2017. The firm emphasizes an opportunistic, value-oriented and risk-controlled approach to investments in distressed debt, corporate debt (including high yield debt and senior loans), control investing, convertible securities, real estate and listed equities. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the firm has over 900 employees and offices in 18 cities worldwide. For additional information, please visit Oaktree’s website at www.oaktreecapital.com.
About Pala Investments Limited
Pala is a Swiss-based multi-strategy investment company focused on the mining and metals value chain with a strong track record of successful investments and value creation. Pala’s international team of professionals has extensive experience within the sector and seeks to assist companies in which it has long-term shareholdings by providing strategic advice and innovative solutions in development, production, expansion and turnaround situations.
About Peak Resources Limited
Australian Securities Exchange listed Peak and its partners, Appian Natural Resources Fund and International Finance Corporation (a division of the World Bank), are developing the Ngualla Project in Tanzania into a low cost next generation rare earth project. Peak has tailored its processing flowsheet to focus on the production of neodymium and praseodymium, which are the key enabling raw materials that power low carbon technologies such as electric (e) mobility, clean energy and robotic technology. Peak Resources aims to be one of the lowest cost players in the industry and has delivered, in April 2017, its extensive Bankable Feasibility Study.