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Moly miner hit by higher costs

NNBW Staff

Golden Phoenix Minerals Inc., the Sparks company that operates the Ashdown molybdenum mine north of Winnemucca, says higher mining costs led to a loss during the second quarter.

The publicly held company lost $669,928 on sales of $4.6 million during the quarter, which compares with a profit of $1.1 million on sales of $4.5 million in the comparable quarter a year ago.

President Robert Martin noted the price of molybdenum, a mineral used to make steel alloys, held steady at $31 to $33 a pound on world markets during the second quarter, even as the prices of gold and silver whipsawed.

Mining costs, the company said, rose by about $1 million year-over-year, and it spent about $345,000 more on exploration of its properties than it did a year ago.

Martin said the Ashdown mine is producing about 70 tons of ore a day, and Golden Phoenix executives want to increase that to about 100 tons a day.

The company says it’s beginning to spend money exploring the possibility of bringing its Mineral Ridge gold mine 32 miles west of Tonopah back into production. The mine has been idle since early 2005.