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Former loss-making mining outfit posts 3m-euro Q2 profit

Formerly known as Talvivaara Mining, Terrafame Ltd said on Friday that it is looking to ramp up production and is aiming to improve productivity.

The Terrafame mine in Sotkamo, northeast Finland. Image: Niko Mannonen / Yle

Terrafame Ltd, the mining company formerly known as Talvivaara, announced on Friday that turnover for the April-to-June period amounted to nearly 77 million euros, up from around 47 million over the same period in 2017.

Although a planned maintenance stoppage halted production and sales in May, the former loss-making firm said it posted an operating profit of 3.4 million euros for the period, compared to a 37-million-euro loss for the April-June period last year.

Located in Sotkamo, northeast Finland, the mining operation produced some 5.9 tonnes of nickel and 14,000 tonnes of zinc. The company said that it will continue to ramp up production and improve profitability.

Battery chem plant in the works

Earlier in July, the municipality of Sotkamo greenlighted a building permit for a battery chemicals plant. At the time, the company predicted that the plant would provide 150 permanent jobs and boost Finland’s prospects in the growing market for materials used to manufacture batteries used for electric and hybrid motors.

The company has been under scrutiny over a track record of environmental offences during the operations of the predecessor company, Talvivaara. In 2016, the Kainuu District Court convicted and fined three former managers for environmental crimes over a series of major effluent leaks from wastewater ponds between 2006 and 2013.

Talvivaara went bust in November 2014 after declaring debts amounting to 1.4 billion euros. However it was later rescued when government extended a series of million-euro taxpayer-funded bailouts in 2015 and 2016.

Edit: Updated at 3.30pm to correct operating result for the second quarter of 2017 from a 37 million-euro profit to a 37 million-euro loss.

Edit: Updated on 30 July at 2.26pm to correct the reporting period to the second quarter of 2018, rather that the first half of 2018 as originally reported.