US rare earth producers Molycorp, which has three plants in eastern Estonia, is facing financial trouble, skipping a 30-million-euro loan payment. The Wall Street Journal speculated that the company could file for bankruptcy by the end of June.
The company's share price has tumbled from a high of around 70 euros in 2011 to just 0.4 euros today, Äripäev reported. The decline is due to a burst in the rare earth bubble after China slaked export bans on rare metals.
Molycorp purchased AS Silmet of Estonia in 2011 for 62 million euros worth of Molycorp shares from a former Estonian PM Tiit Vähi. According to Äripäev, Vähi lost around 25 million euros for failing to sell Molycorp shares in time.
It is currently unclear how any proceedings will pan out for the Estonian subsidiary of Molycorp, which employs around 500 staff.
Editor: J.M. Laats