Profits at firm that owns Tipperary lead mine more than halve to €27m

Pre-tax profits at the company that operates the Lisheen lead and zinc mine in Co Tipperary more than halved last year to $36.5m (€27m).

New accounts lodged by Lisheen Milling Ltd show that the firm recorded the sharp drop in profits after revenues declined by 30% from $409.53m to $284.4m in the 12 months to the end of March 2013.

The prior period covered 15 months. The firm’s pre-tax profits reduced by 52% from $75.5m to $36.5m.

In April, Filipino father Mario Francis died at the mine when a roof of a tunnel in which he was working collapsed — the second work-place related fatality at the mine in two years.

The figures just lodged with the Companies Office show that the firm paid a dividend of $79m that followed a dividend payout of $84.2m in fiscal 2012.

After the dividend pay-out, the firm’s accumulated profits stood at $68.37m.

The mine, in production since 1999, produces an average 165,000 tonnes of zinc per year and 200 tonnes of lead.

In 2010, Indian company, Vedanta Resources, purchased the Tipperary mine along with other bigger mines in South Africa and Namibia from previous owners Anglo American Zinc as part of a €1.34bn deal, which estimated Lisheen’s value at $308m (€242m).

According to documents lodged by Vedanta Resources with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the mine is expected to close in early 2015.

According to the directors’ report lodged with the Companies Office “the company had a good performance during the year ended March 31, 2013, a year in which zinc markets experienced another tough year with demand from Europe and US remaining weak through most of the year”.

The directors state that “our continued focus on operational excellence bolstered our financial performance”.


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