Wednesday 28 November 2012 7:40 pm

Talvivaara production under scrutiny after mine restart stalls

NICKEL miner Talvivaara yesterday postponed the restart of mining in Sotkamo, Eastern Finland by half a year to mid-2013, raising concern over its future metals production. The Finnish company, which pioneered a technique to extract nickel using bacteria, has been hit by a series of problems in the past year, including waste water leakage, production disruptions and the death of a worker. Talvivaara halted mining and crushing operations in September for three to four months due to excess water in the mining pit, but said now it would not restart ore production until mid-2013 once water had been drained away from the pit. Earlier yesterday Talvivaara gave its production update for this year, forecasting around 13,000 tonnes of nickel after its metals production was halted in November for more than two weeks by a leakage of toxic waste water. The company previously said it targeted 50,000 tonnes per year running at full capacity. In 2011 nickel production was 16,000 tonnes. The company swung to an operating loss of €4.3m (£3.4m) in the third quarter due to production disruptions and weak nickel prices, and said it was considering new funding options, including convertible bonds and equity.