Mineral Park 2013 Outlook
With the recent increases in throughput rates and mining flexibility, the Company expects Q2 2013 production to exceed Q1 2013 production. As a result of the benefits of these initiatives, Mineral Park continues to be on track to produce between 93.0 million to 102.0 million pounds of copper equivalent(i) production in 2013, which includes 41.5 million to 46.5 million pounds of copper (38.5 million to 42.5 million pounds copper in concentrates and 3.0 to 4.0 million pounds of copper cathode copper), 11.0 to 12.0 million pounds of molybdenum and 0.6 million ounces of silver.
As a result of the recent throughput improvements, the Company is reviewing the scope and requirement for the $5.0 million pebble crusher included in the previously announced $13.7 million capital expenditures program for 2013. The Company believes that the 2013 capital program, with a majority of the spending to be spent in the second half of 2013, can be financed from cash flow from operations. However, the Company will continue to review the capital program for potential deferrals, should current economic conditions prevail.
EL PILAR PROJECT
During the first quarter 2013, the Company continue to de-risk the El Pilar Project ("Project") with additional metallurgical testing to evaluate the potential to attain the same projected copper recoveries (56.9% over the Project's life-of-mine as noted in the October 2012 El Pilar Project Feasibility Study) while reducing acid consumption, potentially by as much as 20%. These column tests are being conducted by managing solution application rates and raffinate pH.
Meanwhile, the Company continues to explore various value-accretive options to finance the Project. After funding is secured, with a 15-month construction timeline, the Company has the potential for a short cycle to convert its investment into cash flows.
FINANCIAL STATEMENTS and MANAGEMENT DISCUSSION & ANALYSIS ("MD&A")
This news release is prepared as at May 10, 2013 and should be read in conjunction with the MD&A and Financial Statements for the period ended March 31, 2013. These documents have been posted on Mercator's website (www.mercatorminerals.com/s/FinancialStatements.asp) and on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) under the Company's profile.
Mercator's senior management will hold a conference call and a live audio webcast on May 13, 2013 at 8:30 a.m. Pacific time to discuss results for the first quarter 2013. To participate in the call, dial 877-240-9772 (North America) and 800-2787-2090 (International). To listen to the live webcast, visit www.gowebcasting.com/4314. A presentation will accompany the call and will be available on the company's website under investor relations, presentations.
An archived recording of the conference call will be available for playback after the event until April 4, 2013 by dialling 1-800-408-3053 (North America), 905-694-9451 (local) and 800-3366-3052 (overseas) with conference passcode 2945338#.
(i)Alternative Performance Measures
This press release refers to "cash costs" and "adjusted net income (loss)" which are not performance measures recognized as having a standardized meaning under IFRS. The Company discloses these performance measures, which have been derived from the financial statements on a consistent basis, because the Company believes they are of assistance in understanding the results of Mercator's operations and financial position, and are meant to provide further information about the Company's financial results to the investors. These performance measures may not be comparable to similar data presented by other mining companies. This information should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measure of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS. Readers should refer to "Alternative Performance Measures" section on page 17 of the Q1 2013 MD&A for additional information.
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