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REFILE-UPDATE 2-Talvivaara says mine stopped leaking waste water
November 14, 2012 / 8:53 AM / 5 years ago

REFILE-UPDATE 2-Talvivaara says mine stopped leaking waste water

(Removes stray word in headline)

* Leakage found at Sotkamo mine on Nov 4

* Company says no more leaking expected, hopes to restart plant

* Investors expect more share issues

* Stocks jump after falling heavily in recent sessions

HELSINKI, Nov 14 (Reuters) - Talvivaara said its nickel mine in eastern Finland had stopped leaking waste water, sending its shares sharply higher on hopes it has gained control over an environmental fiasco.

The company still needs permission from local authorities to restart its metals recovery plant, which has been offline since the leak was discovered on Nov. 4. Authorities have since found high concentrations of metals in nearby streams.

“No further release of the leakage water outside the mine area is anticipated,” Talvivaara said on Wednesday.

The shares surged 17 percent to 97.45 pence in London and 12 percent to 1.21 euros on the Helsinki bourse by 1032 GMT. They had fallen around 30 percent after the leak was found.

Authorities said on Tuesday they were not satisfied with the company’s earlier report, particularly regarding clean-up plans, and that they wanted further details by Thursday before allowing production to restart.

The company said it would provide those details later on Wednesday.

The Finnish Environment Institute said water samples showed levels of contamination high enough to kill fish.

It was the latest in a series of problems at the Sotkamo mine, which was considered an industry pioneer for its use of bacteria to extract nickel. Over the past year, it has been hit by production disruptions, environmental problems and the death of a worker.

The leak is seen as particularly costly due to the prolonged production halt and the expected costs of the clean-up. Talvivaara said last week it was considering options to raise new funding, including convertible bonds and equity issues.

“We haven’t yet gotten confirmation when they can start back up again, which would be the next step in this thing, and then also future financing needs - a lot of questions being asked,” Liberum analyst Ben Davis said.

Analysts expect a new share issue, which could dilute the value of existing shares, but they also expect help from the Finnish government, which is already a major shareholder with a 9 percent stake.

Talvivaara said it would update its nickel production target when it is allowed to restart the plant. It has repeatedly lowered its output forecast this year due to weak prices and production disruptions. (Reporting by Ritsuko Ando; Editing by David Holmes and Jane Baird)

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