November 5, 2010 / 6:27 PM / in 7 years

Thompson Creek shares rise as profit tops expectations

* Thompson Creek optimistic about moly pricing in 2011

* Shares up 4 percent in Toronto and New York

TORONTO, Nov 5 (Reuters) - Shares of Thompson Creek Metals TC.NTCM.TO rose 4 percent in both New York and Toronto on Friday after the molybdenum miner reported a stronger than expected third-quarter profit late on Thursday. [ID:nN04134007]

"We feel very pleased about the quarterly results," Chief Executive Kevin Loughrey told Reuters. "The market looks good and the price (of molybdenum) has moved to $16 a pound."

The price of molybdenum, which is used to harden steel, has risen steadily over the last few months, and could hit $18 a pound by the end of 2010, according to commodity analysts.

"We are looking at 2011 to be a good year in terms of the supply-demand dynamics (for molybdenum) ... We think the market is very much in balance right now, so any kind of demand uptick should help considerably," Loughrey said in a telephone interview.

Shares of the company were up 54 cents at $12.97 on Friday afternoon in New York, and up 51 Canadian cents at C$12.96 in Toronto.

PROJECT APPROVAL

Earlier this week, the Canadian government approved Thompson Creek's Mt. Milligan copper-gold project in British Columbia. The miner acquired the project as part of its deal to buy Terrane Metals for C$650 million, earlier this year.

Mt. Milligan, located 150 kilometres northeast of Thompson Creek's Endako mine, will move the company away from being a molybdenum only miner. Analysts view this as a positive as the company's single-commodity exposure increased risks for both the company and its investors.

The mine is expected to have average annual output of about 81 million pounds of copper and 194,000 ounces of gold over a 22-year mine life.

"Getting that approval frees us and we now have all the approvals necessary to go forward with the construction on the time-frame which we planned," said Loughrey, adding that the company plans to begin operations at the site in late 2012, or early 2013.

$1=$1.00 Canadian Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Peter Galloway

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