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Thompson Creek chops budget, delays expansion

Thompson Creek Metals Co. Inc. is slashing its capital budget for 2009 to $69-million from $300-million, postponing expansion of the Endako mine in northern British Columbia. The molybdenum producer said yesterday that while work on the Endako expansion will be suspended, "we will leave the project in a position to start up again when the molybdenum market improves." The Endako open pit expansion had been announced last spring amid high prices for the metal, used to harden steel. The project was aimed at increasing production to 50,000 tonnes of ore per day from 28,000. The Endako pullback follows Thompson Creek's announcement a month ago that it was postponing its Davidson project near Smithers, B.C. "Given the sharp decline in the molybdenum price, Thompson Creek has decided to curtail planned capital expenditures," chairman and chief executive officer Kevin Loughrey stated yesterday. TCM (TSX) fell four cents to $3.41.

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