Thompson Creek to suspend output at molybdenum mine as market weak

Fri Feb 21, 2014 9:22am EST

Feb 21 (Reuters) - Thompson Creek Metals Co Inc will stop mining at its Thompson Creek molybdenum mine when its current production phase is complete, likely in the fourth quarter of this year, the company said late on Thursday.

The company, which suspended work on the mine's next phase following a decline in the price of molybdenum in 2012, said the decision was based on further weakness in the market, as well as its forecast operating costs.

The mine will be put on care and maintenance, which means it will not produce metal, but will be kept in good working order so production can resume if and when the market improves.

"Management intends to preserve the assets at TC Mine while it is on care and maintenance to enable the company to re-commence operations when molybdenum market conditions improve," it said in a statement.

The Thompson Creek mine, in Idaho, began operations in 1983, and was once Thompson Creek's flagship asset, but the Denver-based company has diversified its business to shore up earnings, adding copper and gold to its molybdenum assets.

Its new Mt. Milligan copper and gold mine, located in British Columbia, reached commercial production on Feb. 18.

The news came as Thompson Creek reported a fourth-quarter net loss of $210.5 million, or $1.24 a share, compared with a loss of $484.4 million, or $2.87, a year earlier.

Revenue grew to $117.1 million from $99.4 million, boosted by copper and gold sales.

Excluding impairment charges, which were larger in the year-earlier period, and other one-time items, the adjusted loss widened to $28.5 million, or 17 cents a share, from $11.9 million, or 7 cents a share, as prices fell.

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