Sherritt lowers 2012 production guidance swings to 226million Q3 loss

TORONTO – Sherritt International Corp. lowered its production guidance for 2012 as the diversified resource company swung to a $22.6-million loss in the third quarter and a nine per cent drop in revenues.The loss equalled eight cents per share for the period ended Sept. 30, compared to a 16 cents per share profit a year earlier when net earnings reached $45.5 million.Adjusting for a series of one-time items, the Toronto-based company earned three cents per share, compared to nine cents per share forecast by analysts.Sherritt has a wide variety of resource-related businesses in Canada and abroad. It’s involved in nickel mining on the African island of Madagascar, oil and gas exploration and other pursuits in Cuba and coal mining in western Canada.Revenues decreased to $422.2 million from $466.4 million in the prior year due to lower nickel prices and volumes and lower exports of thermal coal, partially offset by higher fertilizer revenues and the impact of a weaker Canadian dollar.The charges equalling $32.4 million, or 11 cents per share after tax, related largely to the redemption of 2014 debentures, coal environmental rehabilitation obligations and a call option for the Ambatovy project in Madagascar.John Hughes of Desjardins Capital Markets said the results were negative as it missed expectations and lowered its 2012 production guidance.Production of finished nickel and cobalt started at Ambatovy in the third quarter. Total nickel production, including test briquettes, was 2,370 tonnes while total cobalt production was 165 tonnes.The Ambatovy facility continued to ramp up in the quarter as the number of operating hours increased to 4,119 during the quarter.Last year, Sherritt (TSX:S) extended its work schedule and increased estimated costs for its Ambatovy project in Madagascar. It cited a litany of problems including poor performance by contractors and inaccurate estimates on the project in the island country off the east coast of Africa.Sherritt produces nickel from projects and operations in Canada, Cuba, Indonesia and Madagascar.The company is also the largest producer of thermal coal in Canada and the largest independent energy producer in Cuba, with extensive oil and power operations across the island.Sherritt’s share of sales volumes in the quarter totalled 8.6 million pounds of finished nickel, 900,000 pounds of finished cobalt, 8.5 million tonnes of thermal coal, one million barrels of oil and 154 GWh of electricity.The company maintained its 2012 forecasts Wednesday for Cuban nickel production and oil production but lowered its guidance for nickel production at Ambatovy by 20 per cent to 6,400 tonnes from 8,000 tonnes, and said thermal coal production will be reduced six per cent to 33,000 tonnes.It had $934.2 million of cash and equivalents and $113.3 million of operating cash flow in the quarter.Capital spending in the quarter was $48.7 million, including $8.6 million for Ambatovy, down from $53.6 million in the year-ago period.Sherritt, which has more than 6,800 employees, also licenses its nickel mining technology to other metals companies.On the Toronto Stock Exchange, its shares dropped more than four per cent, losing 18 cents at $4.30 in early afternoon trading. AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to TwitterTwitterShare to FacebookFacebookShare to RedditRedditShare to 電子郵件Email by The Canadian Press Posted Oct 31, 2012 1:04 pm MDT Sherritt lowers 2012 production guidance, swings to $22.6-million Q3 loss read more

UN chief urges Syrians at Geneva negotiations to seek political solution Envoy

Wrapping up the opening of the intra-Syrian negotiations in Geneva this evening, United Nations Special Envoy Staffan de Mistura said he would hold bilateral meetings with participants on Friday to decide on a work plan, as Secretary-General António Guterres said he was encouraged the Syrian parties held face-to-face talks. A statement from UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the Secretary-General is encouraged that the Syrians, who have accepted the Organization’s invitation to be in Geneva, “sat together in the same room today.” Commending Mr. de Mistura’s work in bringing this about, the statement said Mr. Guterres also appreciated the presence of the members of the Security Council and the International Syria Support Group (ISSG) at today’s welcoming, and underlined the importance of international unity behind the UN-led political process in the weeks and months ahead.The ISSG established respective taskforces on humanitarian aid delivery and a wider ceasefire. They have been meeting separately since early 2016 on a way forward in the crisis. Russia and the United States are the co-chairs of the taskforces and the ISSG, which also comprises the UN, the Arab League, the European Union and 16 other countries.“After six years of bloodshed, the Secretary-General urges the Syrians who have accepted the invitation to be in Geneva to engage in good faith as the Special Envoy seeks to facilitate the process,” continued the Spokesman’s statement, stressing that while acknowledging that progress will not be easy, Mr. Guterres believed strongly that only a political solution can bring peace to Syria and that all those Syrians who have committed themselves to this goal should redouble their efforts for peace.For his part, Mr. de Mistrua told reporters in Geneva that “everyone was in the room,” including members of the UN Security Council and all the ISSG members. “I also hope that you noticed that we had behind me, in my team, two important representatives of Syrian women to remind everyone, including myself, Syrian women need to be part of this peace process.”As for the opposition, he said that while there is still work to be done, “today […] was a moment for a building block,” as there was a “heavy weighty” delegation on the side of the opposition in the room. “I will continue to encourage more dialogue and inclusion among the various Syrian parties.”Announcing that he planned to have bilateral meetings to elaborate with participants Friday “about procedure, [which is] is crucial, and the work plan for this round,” Mr. de Mistura said his dream as a mediator “is to have only one delegation on one side and one delegation on the other. That’s when you can do the best job, and I am not giving up on that hope.” On 5 August 2016 in Aleppo, Syria, a child with spinal muscular atrophy who needs special medical care, now lives on the streets, after fleeing with her family from attacks and intense fighting in the 1070 neighbourhood. Photo: UNICEF/Khuder Al-Issa Earlier in the day, Mr. de Mistrua welcomed the representatives of the Syrian Government and its opposition to the United Nations-facilitated negotiations, but cautioned: “We face an uphill battle. It will not be easy, but we must apply ourselves to this task.” “Let’s try to work together to end this horrible conflict and lay the foundation for a country at peace with itself, sovereign and unified,” he noted.Making reference to the Palais des Nations where the intra-Syrian negotiations are being held, he said the UN headquarters in Switzerland was a symbol “unifying all of us” given its history and could be the place where “Syrians started a long, hard journey to peace.” He stressed that after six years of conflict, people are waiting for a relief from all suffering and dream “for a new road out of this nightmare.”Mr. de Mistura is continuing to push for a resolution to the conflict based on UN Security Council resolution 2254 (2015) that endorsed a road map for peace process in Syria, including specific language on governance, constitution, elections, and even how negotiations should be timed. Syrian women and children bearing the bruntThe Special Envoy also pledged to do everything to promote the role of Syrian women in the political efforts.Ahead of the welcoming, he was greeted by a group of Syrian women holding a vigil in Geneva for relatives and friends – sometimes children – who had been arrested, abducted or are still missing apparently as a result of the Government or the opposition. Calling them Syrian mothers, wives and daughters, Mr. de Mistura said they were symbolic of everyone still missing “in this horrible conflict.” He pledged to raise the issue of detainees, abducted and missing people as part of the ongoing discussions.Meanwhile, the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF) today urged participants to the talks to put Syria’s children first. In a statement UNICEF Regional Director Geert Cappelaera said at least 20 children were reportedly killed in attacks in the country since the start of this year, and many more injured. “The numbers are a grim indication that the cessation in hostilities announced last December has yet to result in real gains in protection and humanitarian assistance for all children in Syria,” Mr. Cappelaera said.“What if these were your children?” he asked. VIDEO: UN Special Envoy for Syria, Steffan de Mistura, has acknowledged the “long, hard journey” ahead, while calling on all sides to work together towards a political solution to the country’s protracted conflict. read more