Mercator Reports Third Quarter Results and Provides Operations Update

(Stated in US Dollars unless otherwise indicated)

TRADING SYMBOL: TSX - ML

VANCOUVER, Nov. 17 /CNW/ - Mercator Minerals Ltd. ("Mercator" or the "Company") reports that it has filed its results for the three and nine month period ended September 30, 2009. This release should be read with the Company's unaudited financial statements and management discussion and analysis available on the Company's website and filed on SEDAR under the Company's issuer profile.

Excluding non-cash items for accretion, amortization and stock based compensation, the Company recorded adjusted earnings* of $3.58 million during the quarter ended September 30, 2009, compared to a loss of $3.14 million during the corresponding period in 2008. After the accrual for interest and interest payments of $3.50 million and $4.28 million in non-cash items (including accretion, amortization and stock based compensation), the Company recorded a net loss of $0.69 million or $0.01 per share compared to a loss of $5.64 million or $0.08 per share for the corresponding period in 2008. For the third quarter of 2009, the Company recorded sales from production of 7,273,077 pounds of copper (comprised of 6,153,449 pounds of copper in concentrates and 1,119,628 pounds of copper as cathode), 537,594 pounds of molybdenum and 34,069 ounces of silver during quarter ended September 30, 2009, compared to 2,972,504 pounds of cathode copper in the quarter ended September 30, 2008.

"During the third quarter we made major modifications to the crushing and milling circuits. Changes included testing of column flotation in the moly circuit. Results in concentrate grades and productivity have been impressive," said Michael L. Surratt, President and CEO. "The entire secondary cleaning circuit is being converted to column flotation and will be complete by the end of the year. In October a copper column was tested with similar results and the copper cleaner circuit is also being changed out. The conversion is being done at minimal cost with no shut down of the system. The stacker belt had to be replaced during August as well as the bearings in the crusher. Both were the result of inferior products and resulted in 10 days of down time. Mill availability increased from 90% in the third quarter to 94% in October as a result of the modification throughout the plant", Mr. Surratt added.

"The $8.6 million Phase 1.5 construction project is on schedule and budget. Completion percentages as of the first of November are approximately the following; 70% of the second sag mill mechanical, 98% of the feed conveyor, 90% of the recycle conveyor, 30% of the feeders, 55% of the electrical. All of the new 26 inch water line pipe is on site and approximately 30% is wrapped and approximately 10% is installed. Phase 1.5, to take the mill to plus 30 tons per day, is scheduled to be complete and operational during the first two weeks of January," Mr. Surratt stated.

Subsequent to September 30, 2009, the Company entered into a definitive letter agreement, and subsequently executed a definitive arrangement agreement that sets out the details of the business combination whereby Mercator will acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of Stingray Copper Inc. ("Stingray") in consideration for the issue of Mercator shares on the basis of 0.25 Mercator share for each Stingray share. It is anticipated that the transaction would close in the fourth quarter of 2009:

    
    Financial Highlights for the Three Months ended September 30, 2009

    -  Earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization
       ("EBITDA")* for the three month period ended September 30, 2009 was
       $6.82 million, surpassing the requirements under the applicable
       covenant under the Note Indenture;

    -  Net loss for the three month period ended September 30, 2009 of
       $0.69 million ($0.01 per share) compared to a net loss of
       $5.64 million ($0.08 loss per share) for the corresponding period
       in 2008.

    -  Excluding non-cash items for accretion, amortization and stock based
       compensation, the Company recorded adjusted earnings* of
       $3.58 million during the quarter ended September 30, 2009, compared
       to an adjusted loss* of $3.14 million during the corresponding
       period in 2008;

    -  Revenues from cathode copper and copper concentrate, sales molybdenum
       and silver for the three month period ended September 30, 2009 of
       $26.21 million compared to $8.89 million for the corresponding period
       in 2008;

    -  Sales from production of 7,273,077 pounds of copper (comprised of
       6,153,449 pounds of copper in concentrates and 1,119,628 pounds of
       copper as cathode), 537,594 pounds of molybdenum and 34,069 ounces of
       silver during quarter ended September 30, 2009. This compares to
       copper production, all as cathodes, of 2,972,504 pounds in the
       quarter ended September 30, 2008;

    -  Financing completed during the period raised gross proceeds of
       $75.85 million. The Company ended the quarter with cash of
       $64.84 million, a $61.83 million increase in cash on hand since
       December 31, 2008, resulting in a positive working capital of
       $71.68 million compared with $3.0 million in cash and cash
       equivalents and a working capital deficiency of $25.35 million at
       the end of fiscal 2008.
    

All financial information contained herein should be read in conjunction with the Company's Management Discussion and Analysis and unaudited financial statements for the period ended September 30, 2009 and the Management Discussion and Analysis and Audited consolidated 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 Mercator 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,
    President
    

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 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 at www.sedar.com.

The Toronto Stock Exchange does not accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this press release.

    
    * These are non-GAAP performance measures and readers should refer to
    Non-GAAP Performance Measures in the Company's Interim Management
    Discussion and Analysis for the three and nine months ended September 30,
    2009 as filed on SEDAR for further details.
    

SOURCE Mercator Minerals Ltd.

For further information: For further information: Marc LeBlanc, VP Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary, Tel: (604) 981-9661, Fax: (604) 960-9661, Email: mleblanc@mercatorminerals.com

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Mercator Minerals Ltd.

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