Canadian Mining Journal


MOLYBDENUM MINING: 2010 spending at Endako near $400 million

BRITISH COLUMBIA — Thompson Creek Metals of Toronto says it has earmarked a total of $298 million to be ...

BRITISH COLUMBIAThompson Creek Metals of Toronto says it has earmarked a total of $298 million to be spent at the Endako molybdenum mine in 2010. Thompson Creek owns 75% of the mine and mill; the other 25% is held by Japan-based Sojitz Corp. By extrapolation, the total money to be spent at Endako next year is $397 million.


Sustaining capital will be approximately $120 million, half of which will be spent on new trucks, shovels and drills for the open pit. Spending targets have also been increased for reclamation and environmental projects in 2010.


The Endako mine and mill expansion project was originally announced in March 2008 after the completion of a feasibility study. The study estimated that project capital expenditures would be $373.6 million The project was halted in December 2008 due to economic uncertainty, although Thompson Creek proceeded with the purchase and storage of equipment when orders could not be cancelled without the payment of onerous penalties. The board approved resumption of the project in August 2009.


Before the project was resumed, the company said it reassessed the design and made improvements in the milling processes and found significant reductions in operating costs. One notable change is the addition of a flexible pebble crusher circuit to ensure finer grind and an advanced automation system to improve moly recovery. A new, larger mill building is to be built to replace the existing concentrator.


The changes to the design have raised the total capital cost of the modernization and expansion to $498 million, including a contingency of $60 million.


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