UPDATE 2-Talvivaara aims to raise $349 mln after waste water leak

Thu Feb 14, 2013 5:11am EST
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* Clean up, production suspension prove costly

* Q4 op. loss 57 mln euros vs 21 mln in poll

* Debt-to-equity ratio 184 percent

* Shares down 3 pct

By Terhi Kinnunen

HELSINKI, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Talvivaara said it was seeking to raise 260 million euros ($349 million) through a rights issue to keep its nickel mine running, after a costly waste water leak last year strained its finances.

Clean-up costs and suspended production have proven costly, and the company reported a fourth-quarter operating loss of 57 million euros, bigger than the market's average forecast of 20.9 million euros in a Reuters poll. The results included 23 million euros worth of costs related to the leak.

Talvivaara's mine in Sotkamo, eastern Finland, a pioneer in using bacteria to extract nickel in a process known as bioheapleaching, ran into a series of production problems including a toxic leak that was discovered in November.

Many analysts had said the mine may be shut down unless it could secure more financing, with 77 million euros worth of convertible bonds coming due in May.   Continued...