* Q3 EPS $0.14/shr vs estimate of $0.14/shr
* Profit drops 80 pct on weak metal price
* To ramp up mill due to better market fundamentals (In U.S. dollars unless noted)
TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Molybdenum miner Thompson Creek Metals TCM.TO said on Thursday its third-quarter profit fell 80 percent due to a sharp drop in the prices of the steel-hardening agent.
The company earned $19.7 million, or 14 cents a share, in the quarter ended Sept. 30. That compared with a profit of $100.6 million, or 74 cents a share, in the year-before quarter.
Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S had expected, on average, a profit of 14 cents a share.
Revenue dropped to $114.4 million from $331.1 million, as realized moly prices plunged to $12.75 a pound from $32.85 a pound due to weaker global steel demand.
Production of the metal from the company’s two mines eased to 6.2 million pounds from 6.5 million pounds. Cash costs per pound declined to $5.67 from $7.33.
In a statement, the company said that it plans to operate the mill at its Thompson Creek mine in Idaho at full capacity starting in January 2010 due to an improved outlook for molybdenum market fundamentals. The company cut production at the mill in February due to plunging metals prices.
This should allow the company to produce between 29 million and 32 million pounds of the metal in 2010, up from its expected output of 24 million to 26 million pounds this year. (Reporting by Cameron French; editing by Peter Galloway)