Talvivaara Loss Widens in Fourth Quarter After Asset Writedowns

Talvivaara Mining Co., the Finnish nickel miner undergoing restructuring, said its net loss widened in the fourth quarter as it wrote down assets.

Talvivaara’s net loss increased to 731.8 million euros ($1.01 billion) from a 59.4 million-euro loss a year earlier, the Espoo, Finland-based company said in a statement. Talvivaara wrote down 593 million euros on property, plant and equipment and inventories, and recorded an impairment of 76 million euros on deferred tax assets.

“Such writedowns have recently been rather commonplace in the mining industry due to the difficult market situation and are hence not unique to Talvivaara,” Chief Executive Officer Pekka Pera said in the statement. “They have nevertheless a profound impact on the company’s results and balance sheet.”

Talvivaara filed for a corporate reorganization on Nov. 15 to raise funds and avoid bankruptcy. The company has suffered from falling nickel prices and a slow ramp-up at its mine in northern Finland, forcing it to seek fundraising help from investors and creditors. It raised 261 million euros in a rights offer a year ago. It had received 286.1 million euros of advance payments by the end of December.

Talvivaara said its operational outlook for the year remains subject to new financing that’s under negotiation. Nyrstar NV, which buys zinc concentrate from Talvivaara, agreed to lend the company as much as 20 million euros on April 1.

Talvivaara produced 3,068 metric tons of nickel in the first quarter and year-to-date its production has reached 4,203 tons of nickel. Talvivaara needs to produce 30,000 tons of nickel a year to be profitable, Pera has said. The company was granted an environmental permit today, including a permit for uranium recovery. The permit decision isn’t final until potential appeals have been processed, it said.

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