Business Irish

Sunday 10 December 2017

Earnings at Tara Mines company increase to €50.5m after big jump in price of zinc

Tara mines
Tara mines

Gordon Deegan

Earnings at the company that operates Tara Mines rose 13pc to €50.5m last year after the price of zinc jumped by 13pc.

New accounts show that Tara Mines Holdings and subsidiaries recorded the jump in earnings before depreciation and tax after revenues increased from €174.14m to €187.83m.

The mine, Europe's largest and the world's fifth largest zinc mine, employs 642 people.

Production at the mine, located 2km west of Navan, began in 1977. Since then over 70 million tonnes of ore have been mined.

Last year, Tara Mines produced 2.3m tonnes of ore compared to 2.5m tonnes in 2013.

The mine was purchased by Swedish company Boliden in 2004 and the directors state "as mining operations move further away from surface processing facilities, new challenges are faced. Continued investment is required to address these challenges in the years ahead."

The directors add that "current reserves indicate a mining life through 2021.

"While the outlook for the mine's future remains positive, current global economic and market conditions require the group to remain focused on productivity improvements and control of its cost base." The firm recorded a pre-tax profit of €8.7m last year, down 54pc on 2013's pre-tax profits of €19.3m. However, the 2013 figures were recorded after an exceptional pension scheme gain of €24.7m.

The profits also take account of €38.6m in the non-cash depreciation costs last year.

The numbers employed last year fell from 691 to 642 with staff costs for 2014 increasing from €58.7m to €59m. Emoluments for directors last year rose from €429,000 to €570,000.

The company had shareholder funds totalling €132m with cash increasing from €27.4m to €44.2m.

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