Shares outstanding: 113,484,000
Thompson Creek Announces Approval for Endako Expansion
March 13, 2008 - Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (TSX: TCM / NYSE: TC) (the "Company"), one of the world's largest publicly traded, pure molybdenum producers, today announced that its Board of Directors has approved plans to expand capacity at the Endako Mine from 28,000 to 50,000 tonnes of ore per day beginning in 2010.
"Our estimates show that the Endako expansion will add to Thompson Creek's profitability and provide an attractive rate of return in the coming years even using price assumptions that are well below the current price of molybdenum," said Kevin Loughrey, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer.
"The expansion project also involves a needed modernization of the mill, which has been in operation since 1965, and ensures we will have an efficient processing operation at Endako that will be beneficial for the long term."
The Company expects its capital expenditures related to the expansion project during the period 2008 to 2010 will be C$280 million (75% of the feasibility study estimate of C$373.6 million) plus ongoing sustaining capital spending. The Endako Mine is operated as a joint venture with Thompson Creek holding a 75% interest and Sojitz Corporation, a Japanese company, holding the remaining 25% interest.
Thompson Creek expects it will have sufficient cash flow from existing operations to fund its share of the expansion as well as to meet the capital requirements anticipated at other properties.
Annual molybdenum production as a result of the expansion at the Endako Mine (of which Thompson Creek will receive 75%) is expected initially to be about 17 million pounds and will decline within two years of the start up to approximately 16 million pounds. In the absence of an expansion, annual molybendum production would be expected to fall to about 8 million pounds by 2012 and remain at approximately that level.
In estimating the return on investment from the expansion, the Company assumed future molybdenum prices of US$27 per pound in 2009, US$23 per pound in 2010, US$17.50 per pound in 2011, and US$14 per pound thereafter. Based on these prices, the Company estimates that the expansion will generate an internal rate of return (IRR) of more than 20% over a 16-year mine life.
Sensitivity analysis showed an increase in the IRR to over 30% if molybdenum prices are 20% higher than the assumed level, and a decline in the IRR to approximately 17% if molybdenum prices are 20% lower.
Average production costs as a result of the expansion are projected to be C$7.93 per pound of molybdenum, down from C$10.39 per pound in the absence of an expansion.
All calculations assume an average exchange value of the Canadian dollar of US$0.94 throughout the production period.
The mill expansion includes the installation of a new grinding circuit consisting of semi-autogenous grinding (SAG) and ball mills, a modern flotation circuit and the upgrading of the roaster circuit. The result will be a more cost-efficient mill with fewer mechanical items and with the ability to handle a variety of ore more easily and achieve greater recoveries than the existing mill.
The capital expenditures will also include the acquisition of new trucks and other equipment to supply the mill with a higher volume of ore.
The approval of the Endako expansion by the Thompson Creek Board of Directors is subject to approval by Sojitz, the other Endako joint-venture participant, and subject to certain adjustments in Thompson Creek's existing First Lien Credit Facility or obtaining new financing to replace the First Lien Credit Facility.
About Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc.
Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. is one of the largest publicly traded, pure molybdenum producers in the world. The Company owns the Thompson Creek open-pit molybdenum mine and mill in Idaho, a 75% share of the Endako open-pit mine, mill and roasting facility in northern British Columbia, and a metallurgical roasting facility in Langeloth, Pennsylvania. Thompson Creek is also developing the Davidson Deposit, a high-grade underground molybdenum project near Smithers, B.C. The Company has approximately 800 employees. Its principal executive office is in Denver, Colorado, and it has other executive offices in Toronto, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. More information is available at www.thompsoncreekmetals.com.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking information" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and applicable Canadian securities legislation which may include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the timing and amount of estimated future production. Often, but not always, forward-looking statements can be identified by the use of words such as "plans", "expects", "is expected", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "anticipates", or "believes" or variations (including negative variations) of such words and phrases, or state that certain actions, events or results "may", "could", "would", "might" or "will" be taken, occur or be achieved. Forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors which may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of Thompson Creek and/or its subsidiaries to be materially
different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. Such factors include those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Thompson Creek's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2006 and dated March 26, 2007 which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and is incorporated in its Registration Statement on Form 40-F filed with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission on October 30, 2007 which is available at www.sec.gov. Although Thompson Creek has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there may be other factors that cause actions, events or results to differ from those anticipated, estima
ted or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the date of this news release and Thompson Creek does not undertake to update any such forward-looking statements, except in accordance with applicable securities laws. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such statements. Accordingly, readers are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Readers should refer to Thompson Creek's annual information form for the year ended December 31, 2006 and dated March 26, 2007 which is available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and is incorporated in its Registration Statement on Form 40-F filed with the SEC on October 30, 2007 which is available at www.sec.gov and subsequent continuous disclosure documents avail
able at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov for further information on mineral reserves and mineral resources, which is subject to the qualifications and notes set forth therein.
For more information, please contact:
DIRECTOR OF INVESTOR RELATIONS
THOMPSON CREEK METALS COMPANY INC.
TOLL FREE: 1-800-827-0992
RENMARK FINANCIAL COMMUNICATIONS INC.
DAN SYMONS : DSYMONS@RENMARKFINANCIAL.COM
NEIL MURRAY-LYON : NMURRAYLYON@RENMARKFINANCIAL.COM
MEDIA - ADAM ROSS : AROSS@RENMARKFINANCIAL.COM
TEL.: (514) 939-3989
FAX : (514) 939-3717