Talvivaara cuts nickel forecast

Finnish miner Talvivaara yesterday slashed its nickel production forecast to 17,000 tonnes for 2012, down from the previously forecast 25,000-30,000 tonnes. It blamed heavy rain over the summer, which hindered operations at its Sotkamo mine, for the cut. Talvivaara reported nickel production of 6,568 tonnes over the first half of the year to end of June. The miner slumped to an operating loss of €22.3m (£17.5m) over the period, driven by weak nickel prices, which have fallen by 28 per cent this year, driven by macroeconomic uncertainty and weak steel fundamentals. Chief executive Harri Natunen said yesterday: “Whilst excess water at the minesite has affected our production guidance, it has also impacted our mining operations, and we have had to mine lower-grade ore further away from primary crushing than originally planned.” The shares fell by 2.35 per cent to close at 137p.