IGO profit slumps on impairment charge, weak prices

Credit: IGO Ltd.

Australia’s IGO on Thursday recorded a plunge in half-year profit, as it incurred an impairment charge on its West nickel operations amid a sharp drop in prices of the battery metal.

The battery metal producer said it recorded an impairment charge of A$171.8 million for its Cosmos and Forrestania assets in Western Australia.

IGO had put its Cosmos nickel project in Western Australia into care and maintenance in January due to low prices, and trimmed its annual lithium production forecast.

Production of lithium hydroxide was 1,224 tonnes for the half year, compared with 779 tonnes a year earlier, well behind its nameplate capacity of 24,000 tonnes.

IGO continues to face problems at the Kwinana lithium hydroxide refinery it jointly owns with China’s Tianqi Lithium.

IGO’s net profit attributable for the half year ended Dec. 31 came in at A$288.3 million ($188.81 million), compared with A$612.3 million a year ago.

It declared an interim dividend of 11 Australian cents per share, down from 14 Australian cents a apiece paid last year.

($1 = 1.5270 Australian dollars)

(By Poonam Behura; Editing by Maju Samuel)


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