TORONTO, Mar 12 /CNW/ - Blue Pearl Mining Ltd.,
(TSX:BLE)(TSX:BLE.WT)(TSX:BLE.WT.A)(FRANKFURT:A6R) the world's largest
publicly traded, pure molybdenum producer, today announced that this week it
will prepay the US$62 million Second Lien Credit Facility it entered into last
October as part of the debt financing to purchase Thompson Creek Metals
Company (TCMC). At the request of Blue Pearl, First Lien Credit Facility
lenders have allowed the prepayment by waiving their right to be paid prior to
the Second Lien lenders.
"We're delighted that the lenders involved in the First Lien Credit
Facility have given their approval for Blue Pearl to pay off the Second Lien,"
said Ian McDonald, Executive Chairman.
"The Second Lien was necessary to complete the acquisition but it had an
especially high interest rate of LIBOR plus 10 percentage points, costing Blue
Pearl about US$9 million per year in interest charges.
"The molybdenum price has remained strong and our company has accumulated
significant cash balances that allowed for this prepayment."
The remaining US$340 million First Lien Credit Facility has an interest
rate of LIBOR plus 4.75 percentage points. Principal payments of US$18.75
million per quarter are required on the First Lien in 2007.
"Paying down debt is among the priorities we have announced for Blue
Pearl," Mr. McDonald stated. "At the end of March, following just over five
months of operations since the TCMC acquisition and after we have made our
first regular quarterly payment on the First Lien, Blue Pearl's bank debt will
be less than $320 million, a considerable reduction from the total bank debt
of $402 million incurred for the acquisition.
"As we announced in our January 16, 2007 news release on our outlook and
initiatives, another priority is the development of new mine plans at our
Thompson Creek and Endako mines based on a re-evaluation of the mineral
reserves and mineral resources assuming a long-term molybdenum price of US$10
per pound. Previous mine plans had assumed a long-term price of US$5 per pound
at Thompson Creek and US$3.50 per pound at Endako.
"We are also focused on bringing our high-grade Davidson deposit into
production. A feasibility study for this is currently being conducted.
"Revised mineral resources and reserves for all three operations are
expected in the near future," he said.
About Blue Pearl Mining Ltd.
Blue Pearl is the world's fifth-largest molybdenum producer. The company
in October 2006 purchased the Thompson Creek open-pit molybdenum mine and mill
in Idaho, the Endako open-pit mine, mill and roasting facility in Northern
British Columbia, and a metallurgical roasting facility in Langeloth,
Pennsylvania. Blue Pearl is also developing the Davidson high-grade
underground molybdenum project near Smithers, B.C. The company has more than
700 employees. Its head office is in Toronto, Ontario. It also has executive
offices in Vancouver, British Columbia and Denver, Colorado (including sales
and marketing). More information is available at www.bluepearl.ca.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking information" which may
include, but is not limited to, statements with respect to the future
financial or operating performance of Blue Pearl, its subsidiaries and its
projects, the future price of molybdenum, the estimation of mineral reserves
and resources, the realization of mineral reserve estimates, the timing and
amount of estimated future production, costs of production, capital, operating
and exploration expenditures, costs and timing of the development of new
deposits, costs and timing of future exploration, requirements for additional
capital, government regulation of mining operations, environmental risks,
reclamation expenses, title disputes or claims and limitations of insurance
coverage. 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 Blue Pearl 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, among others, general
business, economic, competitive, political and social uncertainties; the
anticipated benefits of the acquisition not occurring in the expected time
frame or at all; the actual results of current exploration activities; actual
results of reclamation activities; conclusions of economic evaluations;
changes in project parameters as plans continue to be refined; future prices
of molybdenum; possible variations of ore grade or recovery rates; failure of
plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated; accidents, labour
disputes and other risks of the mining industry; political instability,
insurrection or war; delays in obtaining governmental approvals or financing
or in the completion of development or construction activities, as well as
those factors discussed in the section entitled "Risk Factors" in Blue Pearl's
short form prospectus dated October 13, 2006 which is available on SEDAR at
www.sedar.com. Although Blue Pearl 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, estimated
or intended. Forward-looking statements contained herein are made as of the
date of this news release and Blue Pearl disclaims any obligation to update
any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future
events or results or otherwise. 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. Blue Pearl
undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances
or management's estimates or opinions should change. Accordingly, the reader
is cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Shares outstanding: 103,387,030
For further information:
For further information: Blue Pearl Mining Ltd., Ian McDonald, Executive
Chairman, (416) 860-1438, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or Blue Pearl Mining Ltd.,
Wayne Cheveldayoff, Director, Investor Relations, (416) 860-1438, or Toll
Free: 1-800-827-0992, Email: email@example.com, or Renmark Financial
Communications Inc., Christina Lalli, (514) 939-3989, Email: