Thompson Creek Agrees to Acquire Terrane Metals

Thompson Creek Metals and Terrane Metals entered into a definitive agreement in mid-July 2010 pursuant to which Thompson Creek will acquire all of the issued and outstanding equity of Terrane in exchange for cash and Thompson Creek shares valued at about $605 million. Goldcorp, which holds 58% of the voting equity of Terrane, agreed to vote in favor of the transaction, completion of which remained subject to a favorable vote of two- thirds of Terrane shareholders and receipt of regulatory approvals. Thompson Creek also reported entry into an agreement with Royal Gold for sale of 25% of the life-of- mine gold production from Terrane's Mt. Milligan copper-gold project in British Columbia, assuming completion of the Thompson Creek-Terrane transaction.

Mt. Milligan is located 150 km north- east of Thompson Creek's existing Endako molybdenum mine. Mt. Milligan has proven reserves of 274.6 million mt aver- aging 0.21% copper and 0.44 g/mt gold and probable reserves of 207.8 million mt averaging 0.19% copper and 0.32 g/mt gold, for contained metal totaling 2.1 bil- lion lb of copper and 6 million oz of gold.

Mt. Milligan production from a conven- tional open-pit mine and 60,000-mt/d concentrator is expected to average 81 mil- lion lb/y of copper and 194,000 oz/y of gold in concentrates over a 22-year mine life. The first six years of the mine plan call for accelerated extraction of near-surface and higher-grade gold reserves, with pro- duction during this period forecast to aver- age 262,100 oz/y of gold at a cash cost, net of the copper credit, of negative $8/oz.

Expectations are that Mt. Milligan con- centrate will be marketed to Pacific Rim Asian smelters. Concentrate will be trucked 82 km from the project site to a storage and rail loadout facility at Fort St. James, British Columbia, and then railed to port storage facilities at Vancouver Wharves in North Vancouver.

Terrane has signed several contracts relating to construction and equipment supply for Mt. Milligan, including a letter of intent with AMEC Americas and Fluor Canada for provision of engineering, pro- curement and construction management services to the project through their British Columbia Mining Joint Venture. A road upgrade contract has been awarded to Duz Cho Construction, which is a wholly-owned enterprise of the McLeod Lake Indian Band, and Ledcor CMI Ltd., and contracts have been finalized for some long-lead- time equipment, including orders for process plant and power supply equipment representing approximately 12% of the total initial capital cost of the project.

Metso has been contracted to supply the primary crusher, SAG mill, two ball mills, and other associated process plant equip- ment, while ABB Switzerland Ltd. will sup- ply process plant drive motors for the SAG mill and ball mills. Delivery of the process plant equipment is scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011. Siemens Canada Ltd. will supply the three main transformers for the mine-site substation, with delivery sched- uled for the third quarter of 2011.

In addition to Mt. Milligan, Terrane has a number of other earlier-stage mineral projects, the most substantial being the Berg copper-molybdenum-silver deposit, located in British Columbia approximately 150 km southwest of Endako. Other assets include an interest in the Howard's Pass lead and silver deposit in the Yukon and a minority joint-venture interest in the Maze Lake gold project in Nunavut.

As featured in Womp 2010 Vol 06 -