FNX Mining, which currently ships and sells all of the ore it produces to Vale Inco in Sudbury for processing, plans to continue to deliver ore to the now furloughed custom mill until the end of the month.
Vale Inco announced on April 16th that it would extend its originally planned three-week scheduled maintenance shutdown this month to by an additional eight weeks to July 27, 2009.
In financials published Thursday, FNX officials said, During the balance of 2009, the company will continue to assess its plans in light of challenges and changes in the global commodity markets in general and in the Sudbury mining district in particularly and make decisions consistent with its strategy for 2009.
Late last year the company reduced its mining workforce by 45% through layoffs and terminations, extended the suspension of nickel contact ore production from the Levack Mine and suspended nickel contact ore production at the adjacent McCreedy West Mine. However, FNX says the deposits do not produce recoverable precious metals and, therefore, will not affect FNX's precious metal production.
FNX also noted it is able to decrease, increase, or suspend its production levels quickly and economically. The company believes it is uniquely placed to weather the current economic downturn and the potential disruption on production due to the Vale Inco shutdown and is well positioned for success when commodity prices increase and debt and equity markets stabilize in the future.
Copper accounted for 62% if the company's mine operating revenues during the first quarter, while nickel accounted for 20% of revenue. FNX's 2009 budget is based on preserving the company's strong balance sheet through, among other items, focusing production on mining ore from deposits that can generate sufficient cash flow at budgeted commodity prices to be economically viable.
The company's production forecast this year remains at producing 35.2 million pounds of payable copper, 3.7 million pounds of payable nickel and 58,000 ounces of payable platinum, palladium and gold.
FNX Mining reported a loss of Cdn$26.15 million or negative 31 cents per share for the first quarter of this year, compared to a net profit of Cdn$25 million (28-cents/sh) a year ago.