Terrafame’s new batteries chemicals plant is on track to begin operations in 2021, the European nickel and zinc miner indicated on Monday.
The company, noted in its Q3 2020 production and earnings report that it had achieved the key milestone of integrating its nickel production process with the batteries chemicals plant last quarter, which brought it closer to commissioning the plant.
However, both nickel and zinc production suffered in the January-September period because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the maintenance shutdowns at the firm’s mines.
Terrafame reported a 5.5pc drop in zinc production to 40,063mt in the first nine months of the year from 42,377mt in January-September 2019. Nickel output also decreased by 4.3pc to 20,141mt from 21,050mt in the same period under comparison.
During Q3 2020, nickel production stood at 4,679mnt, down by 37.3pc from 7,466mt during the same quarter last year, while zinc output declined by 33.9pc to 10,134mt from 15,341mt during the same period.
Decreased production, coupled with lower zinc and nickel prices, resulted in a decline in sales, the European miner reported. Sales in the first three quarters of the year fell by 3.7pc to €234.6mn ($277.28mn) from €243.7mn in the prior-year period. In Q3 2020, the company’s consolidated net sales fell by 39.5pc to €62mn from €102.9mn in Q3 2019.
The company’s EBITDA also suffered, falling 80.5pc in January-September 2020 to €6.1mn from €31.3mn in the same period last year. In Q3, the company registered a loss of €13mn compared with earnings of €29.8mn in Q3 2019.
The miner’s capital expenditure rose by 51.7pc to €148.7mn in January-September 2020 from €98mn in January-September 2019 and increased by 35pc to €51.3mn in Q3 2020 from €38mn in the same quarter last year.