Molycorp CEO resigns, shares fall

Tue Dec 11, 2012 4:53pm EST

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(Reuters) - Rare earth producer Molycorp Inc (MCP.N) said Chief Executive Mark Smith has resigned, a month after the company revealed that it was under investigation by U.S. securities regulators over the accuracy of its public disclosures.

Shares of the company fell 5 percent to $10.72 in extended trading on Tuesday. The stock has more than halved in the past year.

Molycorp, led by Smith since October 2008, was "at a natural inflection point as it transitions its focus from development to ongoing operations," said Ross Bhappu, chairman of the company's board.

The company named Constantine Karayannopoulos, vice chairman of Molycorp's board, as the interim president and chief executive.

Karayannopoulos was previously the CEO of Neo Material Technologies, which Molycorp bought earlier this year for about C$1.2 billion.

Molycorp said it was immediately undertaking a search for a permanent CEO.

(Reporting by Krishna N. Das in Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)

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