UPDATE: Thompson Creek Completes Endako Mill Expansion Project; Reports Q1 2012 Production, Cash Cost Results; Shares Off 2%
Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (TCM.TO, TC), a growing, diversified, North American mining company, announced the completion of the mill expansion project at the Endako mine. As previously announced, commissioning of the company's new SAG Ball mill and rougher flotation circuit was completed in early January, followed by a successful ramp-up to commercial production beginning February 1, 2012. The remaining construction work on the regrind circuit and the pebble crusher was completed in late March. The mill is meeting its design capacity throughput of approximately 55,000 tons per day. Concentrate and recovery grades continue to improve and are expected to meet design capacity in the second quarter of 2012. The existing 45-year old mill at the site has been shut down and will be left on care and maintenance.
For the first quarter of 2012, the company expects to realize an operating loss primarily due to the start-up and commissioning of the new mill at the Endako mine. First quarter 2012 results are expected to include the company's 75% share of an aggregate lower-of-cost or market product inventory write-down at the Endako mine of approximately $12 million, approximately $3 million of the company's share of Endako commissioning and start-up costs that will be expensed through operating expenses (previously included in the company's share of total estimated capital expenditures of approximately C$500 million), together with significantly lower production, higher unit costs, higher unit depreciation and lower sales volumes and average realized prices compared to the first quarter of 2011. Significant stripping costs at the Thompson Creek mine, associated with the ongoing mine pit pushbacks, have been incurred and are expected to continue in the first half of 2012, which also contributed to the expected operating loss for the first quarter.
For the first quarter of 2012, the company produced approximately 4.4 million pounds of molybdenum at an average cash cost of approximately $13.00 per pound produced (excluding commissioning and start-up costs at the Endako mine) and sold approximately 4.9 million pounds of molybdenum from its mines, for an average realized molybdenum sales price per pound for the quarter of approximately $14.75. For the first quarter of 2012, the Thompson Creek mine produced approximately 3.4 million pounds of molybdenum at a cash cost of approximately $10.35 per pound produced and the company's share of production from the Endako mine was approximately 1 million pounds of molybdenum for the first quarter at a cash cost of approximately $22.00 per pound produced.
TCM is now down by about 2% at $6.27 with over 1 million shares changing hands.
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