(Stated in US Dollars unless otherwise indicated)
TRADING SYMBOL: TSX - ML
KINGMAN, AZ, April 1 /CNW/ - Mercator Minerals Ltd. has released its
financial results for the year ended December 31, 2008, which are available on
SEDAR and the Company's website.
After interest payments of $15.13 million ($13.8 million in interest paid
on the Notes issued by the Company in 2007) and $7.68 million in non-cash
items including accretion, amortization and stock based compensation (2007
$15.42 million), the Company recorded a net loss of $28.33 million or $0.38
per share, compared with a net loss of $10.53 million ($0.16 per share) for
2007. Mercator spent $131.32 million in capital in 2008, to substantially
increase copper production and to start molybdenum at its Mineral Park Mine.
"2008 was a defining year for Mercator; it marks the completion of one of
the largest mill construction projects in North America and the start of
copper and molybdenum concentrate production from our Mineral Park Mine in
Arizona," said Michael L. Surratt, President and CEO. "We are continuing to
ramp up production levels in our new mill and are now continuously exceeding
design throughput while maintaining design recoveries and concentrate grades.
We expect the second quarter of 2009 to be an outstanding one for the Mineral
Park Mine and for Mercator," Mr. Surratt added.
Record mill throughput
Commissioning and circuit optimization continued into the first quarter
of 2009. By the end of March, the mill was exceeding design tonnages while
still making forecast recoveries and concentrate grades. Since changing out an
underperforming SAG mill motor on March 12 and changing a well field pump
motor the following week, the mill has been averaging over 30,000 tons per day
of throughput, versus the design 25,000 tons per day (20% above design). The
mill set a new throughput record on March 29, processing 35,223 tons of ore
(more than 40% above design), producing 483 tons of copper concentrate
containing 21.1% copper, suggesting potential for the mill to provide
sustained outperformance going forward. For the month of March, Mineral Park
produced 3,279,303 pounds of copper which, on an annualized basis equates to
approximately 39 million pounds.
The molybdenum circuit has been slower to optimize, given the
prioritization of the copper circuit. During March, approximately 244,000
pounds of molybdenum were produced and a significant amount of it since the
motor changes. Molybdenum concentrate grades are running between 46% (the
minimum by contract) and 52%. To further improve molybdenum production, a
column floatation cell is being added and should be operational by mid-April.
In addition, ore with lower than typical molybdenum grades were processed
until the system was fully operational.
Financial Highlights for the Year ended December 31, 2008
- Production of 10.6 million pounds of copper in 2008 compared to
11.2 million pounds of copper in 2007;
- For the year ended December 31, 2008, the Company reported a net loss
of $28.33 million ($0. 38 per share) compared with a net loss of
$10.53 million ($0.16 per share), for the corresponding period in
2007 as a result of increased accretion and amortization expense at
the Mineral Park Mine and an increased stock based compensation
expense applicable to all employees at the Mineral Park Mine;
- Assets of $249.16 million for the year ended December 31, 2008
(2007 - $206.57 million);
- Cash and cash equivalents on hand at December 31, 2008 of
$3.0 million as compared to $104.5 million for the year ended
December 31, 2007, and working capital deficit at December 31, 2008
of $25.35 million, as compared to working capital of $102.3 million
for the corresponding period in 2007;
- Subsequent to year end, the Company sold to a syndicate of
underwriters, 33,349,425 units (each a "Unit"), of which 4,349,925
Units were issued pursuant to the exercise in full of the
over-allotment option granted to the underwriters, to raise gross
proceeds of CDN$23.3 million ($19.1million). Net proceeds from this
transaction were CDN$21.86 million ($17.91 million). Each Unit was
comprised of one common share (the "Common Shares") and one-half of
one common share purchase warrant (the "Warrants"). Each Warrant
entitles the holder to purchase one additional Common Share of the
Company at a price of CDN$1.00 per share for four years after
- Gross Sales Revenue at Mineral Park, before expenses, for the year
ended December 31, 2008, was $29.18 million compared to
$36.07 million for the corresponding period in 2007;
- Capital expenditures of $131.32 million in 2008 focused on the
development of the process plant at Mineral Park capable of producing
copper and molybdenum concentrates.
All financial information contained herein should be read in conjunction
with the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis and audited financial
statements for the years ended December 31, 2008 and 2007 and related notes
thereto available under the Company's profile on www.sedar.com.
Gary Simmerman, BSc, Mercator's VP Engineering, a Qualified Person as
defined by NI43-101, supervised the preparation of and verified the technical
information contained in this release.
Mercator Minerals Ltd.
Mercator Minerals Ltd. is a TSX listed mining company with an experienced
management team that has brought the mill expansion at the Mineral Park Mine,
one of the largest and most modern copper-moly mining-milling operations in
North America to production in less than 2 years. Mercator management is
dedicated to maximizing profits by making its Mineral Park Mine one of the
lowest cost operations in the industry.
On Behalf of the Board of Directors
MERCATOR MINERALS LTD.
Per: "Michael L. Surratt"
Michael L. Surratt,
This press release contains certain forward-looking statements, which
include estimates, forecasts, and statements as to management's expectations
with respect to, among other things, the use of proceeds, the completion of
the transaction, the ability to obtain regulatory approval, the size and
quality of the Company's mineral reserves and mineral resources, future
production, capital and mine production costs, demand and market outlook for
commodities, and the financial results of the Company. These forward-looking
statements involve numerous assumptions, risks and uncertainties and actual
results may vary. Factors that may cause actual results to vary include, but
are not limited to, certain transactions, certain approvals, changes in
commodity and power prices, changes in interest and currency exchange rates,
inaccurate geological and metallurgical assumptions (including with respect to
the size, grade and recoverability of mineral reserves and resources),
unanticipated operational difficulties (including failure of plant, equipment
or processes to operate in accordance with specifications, cost escalation,
unavailability of materials and equipment, delays in the receipt of government
approvals, industrial disturbances or other job action, and unanticipated
events related to health, safety and environmental matters), political risk,
social unrest, and changes in general economic conditions or conditions in the
financial markets. These risks are described in more detail in the Annual
Information Form of the Company. The Company does not assume the obligation to
revise or update these forward-looking statements after the date of this
report or to revise them to reflect the occurrence of future unanticipated
events, except as may be required under applicable securities laws. For a more
complete discussion, please refer to the Company's audited financial
statements and MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2008 on the SEDAR website
The Toronto Stock Exchange does not accept responsibility for the
adequacy or accuracy of this press release.
For further information:
For further information: Marc LeBlanc, VP Corporate Development and
Corporate Secretary, Tel: (604) 981-9661 or (604) 716-5582, Fax: (604)
960-9661, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org