Vancouver – Thompson Creek Metals Company (TCM-T, TC-N) sees 2007 molybdenum production coming in up to 12% below forecast levels citing the recent rockslide at its 75%-owned Endako mine in central B.C. that interrupted ore output.
For the year it now expects to deliver total molybdenum production of about 15.9 million lbs. versus previous guidance of between 17.5 million and 18 million lbs.
Although the Endako mill has continually operated after the incident, processing ore from the Denak West pit and stockpiles, it is not running at full capacity due to higher moisture contents in the new feed along with lower average grades. The November-2007 slide also damaged one of the large shovels in the pit with completion of repairs expected by year-end.
Thompson Creek is partnered with the Japanese-company Sojitz that holds 25% of the Endako mine and roaster complex.
Forecast molybdenum output from Endako in 2008 is on track with previous estimates of 10-11 million lbs.
Fourth quarter production from its Thompson Creek open pit mine in Idaho also fell short of forecast. There has been a lag in the access of higher-grade sections of the orebody during the transition from mining stockpiles. The operation is expected to output about 9.1 million lbs. molybdenum versus the anticipated 10-10.3 million lbs.
The company forecasts total 2009 production of over 34 million lbs. as it expects to be well into the higher-grade portions of the Thompson Creek orebody at that time.
Thompson Creek also owns a metallurgical roasting facility in Pennsylvania and is developing the Davidson high-grade underground molybdenum project near Smithers, B.C.
Shares of the pure molybdenum company have slumped 15-20% on the forecast production shortfall, recently trading at the $17-level. The stock has a 52-week trading range of $7.11-$25.58.