Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (TC), the molybdenum miner branching into copper and gold with its new Mt. Milligan project, said prices for the steel-strengthening mineral will rise in the first quarter of next year.
The first-quarter price will be between $10 and $10.50 a pound, said Jacques Perron, chief executive officer of the Littleton, Colorado-based company, in a phone interview.
Molybdenum has fallen 16 percent this year to $9.85 a pound. The metal is used to strengthen steel and increase its resistance to heat.
A weak European economy cut demand and led to the year’s price drop, said Thompson Creek Chief Commercial Officer Mark Wilson. Stronger automobile exports from Japan and the U.S. have helped taper the price drop, said Wilson.
“We’re seeing improvements in Europe and I think that’s going to be very important for molybdenum going forward,” Wilson said. Demand “could well actually outpace supply growth, at least in the first couple of quarters in 2014,” he said.
Thompson Creek reported third-quarter earnings yesterday. The company had a loss of 4 cents a share, missing analyst estimates of a loss of 2 cents a share. The company’s loss widened to $7.6 million from a loss of $1.2 million for the same period last year.
Perron joined Thompson Creek last month after former CEO Kevin Loughrey retired.
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