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TORONTO, May 8 (Reuters) - Thompson Creek Metals TCM.TO said on Thursday its first-quarter profit eased slightly as higher molybdenum prices were offset by rising costs.
The Canadian molybdenum producer earned a net $46.8 million, or 37 cents a share, in the quarter ended March 31, down slightly from $47.7 million, or 43 cents a share, in the year-before period.
Quarterly revenue slipped to $254.8 million from $267.9 million.
Production rose to 5.6 million pounds from 5.4 million pounds in the year-before quarter, while the average realized price of molybdenum climbed to $32.69 a pound from $24.87 a pound.
Cash costs per pound were $10.54 in the quarter, up from $8.59.
Thompson Creek said it expects average 2008 cash operating costs of $6 to $6.50 a pound at its Thompson Creek mine in Idaho and $9.50 to $10.25 a pound at its Endako mine in British Columbia.
Molybdenum is used mainly as a hardening agent in stainless steel and is valued for its anti-corrosive and strengthening properties.
$1=$1.02 Canadian Reporting by Cameron French; Editing by Peter Galloway