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Nyrstar cuts FY'16 zinc concentrate output guidance on production issues

Nyrstar NV said Oct. 3 that it expects its 2016 zinc metal production to be at the low end of the guidance range of 1 million tonnes to 1.1 million tonnes after losing about 30,000 tonnes of processing output during the third quarter.

The production losses were due a storm-related power outage in South Australia that halted all operations at the Port Pirie zinc-lead smelter and two exceptional fires at the Balen zinc smelter in Belgium. The company expects its metals-processing segment EBITDA to be affected by about €3 million to €5 million following the statewide power loss in South Australia.

Meanwhile, the European base metals producer lost about 4,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate production at its mining segment due to ground control issues at the Langlois zinc-lead mine in Quebec, as well as equipment and stope availability issues at the East Tennessee mines.

As a result, Nyrstar has revised down its zinc in concentrate production to 90,000 tonnes to 110,000 tonnes, from 130,000 tonnes to 160,000 tonnes previously.

"It is likely this guidance will be further impacted by the mines divestment process currently underway with more divestments expected to be announced before the year-end, " the company noted.

Commenting on the revised guidance, CEO Bill Scotting said, "The one-off operational performance issues of the zinc smelting assets caused by fire and weather events have now been resolved and the issues identified in the mining segment will be resolved during the coming months as ground stability issues are rectified and mine plans improved."

Nyrstar will release third-quarter operational results on Nov. 2.