VANCOUVER: Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. says production and sales from its Mount Milligan Mine for the quarter ended March 31, 2015 was 30.3 thousand dry tonnes, with 15.4 million pounds of payable copper and 46.1 thousand ounces of payable gold, which represented increases of approximately 8% and 18%, respectively, from payable copper and gold production during the first quarter of 2014.
For the quarter ended March 31, 2015, molybdenum sales from inventory at the Company’s Thompson Creek Mine and its 75% owned Endako Mine, together with third-party sourced material that was converted at the Company’s Langeloth Metallurgical Facility (“Langeloth”), totaled 4.3 million pounds.
In December 2014, the Thompson Creek Mine was placed on care and maintenance, and effective December 31, 2014, operations at the Endako Mine were temporarily suspended due to recent and expected ongoing weakness in the molybdenum price.
Copper and Gold
Since the beginning of 2015, throughput and production at Mount Milligan Mine have been impacted by frozen and plugged feeders and unscheduled mechanical issues in other areas of the grinding and flotation circuits. Action plans to address these issues are being implemented. Average mill throughput for the first quarter of 2015 was 39,569 tonnes per day (“tpd”) compared to 33,278 tpd for the first quarter of 2014. Throughput improved during the last half of March, achieving 50,000 to 54,000 tpd for a majority of the days during that period.
Jacques Perron, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thompson Creek, said, “Production at Mount Milligan during the first quarter of this year was challenging due to a number of operational and mechanical issues in the mill, but we have gained valuable knowledge and are making operational improvements to increase throughput going forward. As a result of the issues we experienced in the mill, we minimized our use of the temporary secondary crushing circuit during the first quarter of 2015. With the recent improvements in the mill, we expect to increase secondary crushing for the remainder of 2015, which we believe will allow us to achieve throughput of approximately 60,000 tpd by year-end,” added Mr. Perron.
During the first quarter of 2015, the Company had four shipments of copper and gold concentrate under its sales agreements and recognized three sales, compared to three shipments of concentrate and two sales in the first quarter of 2014.
Our current business strategy is to transition Langeloth into one of the largest third party molybdenum conversion plants in the world, which is expected to contribute to positive cash flow from our molybdenum business in 2015 and to maintain the optionality of our molybdenum business. More information is available at www.thompsoncreekmetals.com.