May 8, 2009 / 6:07 PM / 9 years ago

INTERVIEW-UPDATE 1-Thompson Creek foresees moly price rebound

* Mid- to long-term view of moly market is still positive

* Does not expect Q2 to be dramatically different from Q1

* Shares up 8.3 percent in Toronto (Adds CEO comments, background; in U.S. dollars unless noted)

By Euan Rocha

TORONTO, May 8 (Reuters) - Molybdenum miner Thompson Creek Metals Co TCM.TO does not plan any additional production cuts for now and expects molybdenum prices to rebound in the mid- to long term, Chief Executive Kevin Loughrey, said on Friday.

“Our mid- to long-term view of the moly market is still positive. We think it is going to come back and when it does, we are in a position to take advantage of it,” Loughrey said in an interview with Reuters.

Molybdenum, which is used as a strengthening and anti-corrosion agent in steel and stainless steel, has seen demand and prices plummet in recent months, due to the global economic slowdown.

However, Thompson Creek’s shares on the Toronto Stock Exchange surged 8.3 percent to C$9.17, after the Canadian miner posted better than expected first-quarter results late on Thursday.

The company posted a profit of $11.2 million, or 9 cents a share, down from a year-ago profit of $46.8 million, or 37 cents a share, but well above Wall Street’s average forecast of a loss of 4 cents a share.

“You can’t paint Q1 as a good quarter, relative to the last four quarters we’ve had, in terms of revenue and income. But, in terms of where the world is today and how we could have performed, I think we did well,” said Loughrey.

The company’s average realized price for molybdenum in the first quarter was just over $10 a pound, down from over $32 per pound, a year earlier.

Thompson Creek also expects the average realized price of molybdenum, on a sequential basis, to be lower in the second quarter.

However, Loughrey does not expect second-quarter results to be dramatically different from those of the first quarter.

Furthermore, molybdenum pricing has slowly begun to move slightly higher in recent weeks. MLY-OXIDE-LON

“We are seeing more people coming into the market looking for material. They are having a harder time finding it and the price has moved up as a result,” said Loughrey.

Thompson Creek is also keen to make acquisitions, as it currently carries a debtload of just $16.9 million, with available cash and cash equivalents of about $260.6 million.

“We are open to deals outside the moly space. A logical extension from the moly business, would be a copper-moly play, as the two are so interrelated both commercially and geologically,” said Loughrey.

“We are not averse to looking at something outside the moly space, if it adds value and is accretive,” he said. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Rob Wilson)

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