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Kennecott moly likely to avoid force majeure

Keywords: Tags  Kennecott Utah Copper, Bingham Canyon, Rio Tinto, force majeure, molybdenum, molybdic oxide, ferromolybdenum, Daniel Fitzgerald

NEW YORK — Kennecott Utah Copper is not likely to declare force majeure for molybdenum, having managed to cover its contract commitments through ongoing mine production and purchased concentrates.

The division of London-based Rio Tinto Plc declared force majeure for its copper operations last month after an April 10 wall slide forced the company to suspend mining at Bingham Canyon, but its molybdenum operations have fared better (, April 17).

"Kennecott has not declared force majeure on moly contracts and will not likely declare. We have covered our contract commitments through ongoing mine production and purchased concentrates from the market," a Kennecott source told AMM. "Work is progressing on Bingham Canyon and the mine is delivering ore from the mine for copper production as well as reclaiming stockpiles from outside the mine perimeter that (are) yielding reasonably good moly production. Progress will be slow for a while, but we expect to see the mine to recover and production to improve later in the year."

The company said recently that the Bingham Canyon Mine will operate at reduced capacity for at least six months (, May 21).

Meanwhile, ferromolybdenum ticked up to a range of $11.90 to $12.45 per pound from $11.75 to $12.35 previously. Molybdic oxide was steady at between $10.90 and $11.30 per pound.

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