Rare earth producer Molycorp (MCP) said today it has been granted U.S. government authorization to begin exploratory drilling for heavy rare earth minerals in Mountain Pass, California.
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management gave it permission to drill at the site, where preliminary exploration has shown rare earth mineralization.
Molycorp president Mark Smith said the company anticipates beginning to drill immediately, with results from the drilling program expects in the second quarter of 2012.
Molycorp shares are trading higher Friday.
Investors may want to keep an eye on the Rare Earth/Strategic Metals ETF (AMEX:REMX), which holds Molycorp stock, as well as U.S.-traded Titanium Metals (TIE) and Thompson Creek Metals (TC), among others.
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