MAC: Mines and Communities

Talvivaara write-downs some of the largest in Finnish history

Published by MAC on 2014-05-07
Source: YLE News, Mining.com (2014-05-07)

This must count as one of the strangest government permissions of all time, but as London-listed nickel mining Talvivaara struggles with bankruptcy, brought about primarily because of toxic leaks of their mine waste, the Finnish Governent have issued them a permit to extract uranium too.

One supposes the Government - and the Finnish taxpayer - will eventually be given the bill for the final clean up when the company does go bankrupt.

See previous MAC post: Finland: Talvivaara slumps to record low on further leak

Talvivaara 2013 losses at 700 million euros, new uranium permit granted

30 April 2014

YLE News

Despite beleaguered Finnish mining company Talvivaara's record operating losses and environmental problems, it plans to continue operations and has received a new permit to extract uranium.

Mining company Talvivaara's operating losses were 700 million euros last year compared with the previous year, 2012, when they were at 84 million euros.

The Talvivaara mining company was granted a new permit to extract uranium on Wednesday morning by the region of Northern Finland.

This is considered controversial by the public and politicians, as a series of toxic leaks at Talvivaara's nickel mine started in 2012, and was followed by a suspension of operations and a filing for corporate reorganisation.

Yet Talvivaara CEO Pekka Perä speaks optimistically about the global demand for nickel and the future of the Sotkamo mine in eastern Finland.

"Over-supply and weak demand on the nickel market in 2013 were replaced by signs of recovery in 2014, as the price of nickel has risen 30 percent since the start of the year," he says.


Talvivaara write-downs some of the largest in Finnish history

YLE News

2 May 2014

Finland's Talvivaara mining company recently announced an astounding $873 million loss from the last quarter of 2013.

This one-quarter write-down is equivalent to the entire sum of money forest product giant Stora Enso lost in its famously unsuccessful bid to enter the North American market.

Giant piles of granite in Sotkamo are emblematic of the historic Talvivaara write-down, as the estimated value of their content has plummeted. The mining company's quarterly loss is shocking for a company of its size: Talvivaara reported a total loss of $970 million in 2013.

Much bigger listed companies were built on similar unsustainable clouds in the early 2000s. Telecommunications Company Sonera was hit with a more than $5.5 billion loss after an exhausting depreciation of its universal mobile telecommunications system business in Europe in mid-2002.

Disappointing figures

The Sonera and Talvivaara cases are also similar in that the depreciated business activities applied to operations that never actually produced anything concrete.

Finnish forest giant Stora Enso paid an exorbitant price when it acquired U.S. papermaker Consolidated Paper at the start of the new millennium, declaring a $582 million depreciation in 2009, less than Talvivaara's loss today. In retrospect, some say Stora Enso's write-down should have been even greater.

Still, Talvivaara's figures are exceptionally sad, as fourth-quarter operating losses totaled 50 times the company's turnover last year.

Evli bank analyst Antti Kansanen has been following the Talvivaara situation and he is most concerned about the company's income.

"The company's operating loss was greater than its net sales. This is rare," says Kansanen.

So even if the write-downs provide some relief, the fact is that Talvivaara's mining operations made an annual loss of $151 million last year, more than the $109.5 million of income flowing into the company.

New permit granted and operations to continue

Despite its record of operating losses and environmental problems, Talvivaara plans to continue operations and has received a new permit to extract uranium.

The company was granted a new permit to extract uranium on Wednesday by the region of Northern Finland.

This is considered controversial by the public and politicians, as a series of toxic leaks at Talvivaara's nickel mine started in 2012, and was followed by a suspension of operations and a filing for corporate reorganization.

Talvivaara CEO Pekka Perä speaks optimistically about the global demand for nickel and the future of the Sotkamo mine.

"Over-supply and weak demand on the nickel market in 2013 were replaced by signs of recovery in 2014, as the price of nickel has risen 30 percent since the start of the year," he says.


Talvivaara wants uranium license, but needs to avoid bankruptcy first

Cecilia Jamasmie

Mining.com

28 April 2014

Finnish nickel miner Talvivaara, which is seeking permission to begin uranium operations in the eastern region of Sotkamo, has made last-minute changes to its application as it no longer considers the project a priority.

The company, struggling to avoid bankruptcy, told Yle the firm and its staff were "quite hard-pressed now," so they didn't want to "take on any more strain if it can be avoided."

The cash-strapped miner, scheduled to post results on Wednesday, added it was no longer able to afford paying the guarantees required if operations were to begin.

The news caused investors to panic, with a few shareholders selling their holdings On Monday, which sent the stock price down 11.1% to 6.735p.

Talvivaara's announcement comes on the hills of a series of radioactive leaks at its nickel mine, followed by a suspension of operations and a filing for corporate reorganization.

The firm faces a US$139,000 penalty unless it complies by mid-May.

Home | About Us | Companies | Countries | Minerals | Contact Us
© Mines and Communities 2013. Web site by Zippy Info