Talvivaara boss replaced

It looks like Harri Natunen has paid the price for the interruption to metals production caused by leakage in a gypsum pond, as he has been replaced as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Finnish mining company Talvivaara Mining.

It looks like Harri Natunen has paid the price for the interruption to metals production caused by leakage in a gypsum pond, as he has been replaced as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at Finnish mining company Talvivaara Mining.

Natunen will continue in other executive functions within the company but the committee established by the board of directors on November 9th to examine the fall-out from the leakage at its nickel mine has evidently decided he is not the man to get the company back on a stable footing.

As an interim measure, Pekka Per has been appointed as the new CEO, while independent non-executive director will spend a spell in the Chair as head of the board of the directors.

"Both appointments are of interim nature and in force until further notice and at least until the company's operations have been stabilised following the recent events," a company statement said.

Some industry pundits had speculated that the interruption to production and the clean-up costs associated with the company might endanger the future of the company, but Natunen soothed nerves by revealing on Tuesday of this week that the company was covered on the clean-up costs by its insurance.

There was further good news on Thursday as the company reported that the leak of waste water at its mine had been plugged, and that most of the water that escaped has been contained within the mining concession area by the newly built fourth safety dam.

Press reports had suggested that the discharge of waste water into a nearby lake before the fourth dam was built increased metal concentrations to harmful levels for life forms in these waters, which was obviously a public relations disaster for the £300m-valued company.

Production at the mine has yet to restart, casting doubt on the firm's ambition to increase quarter-on-quarter output in the final three months of the year.

JH

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