Iofina PLC (LON:IOF) jumps as crystalline iodine production at the company's four operating IOsorb® plants has continued to deliver encouraging results, with better than expected iodine volumes in the second half, and construction of its IO#7 plant remains on track.
The AIM-listed firm - specialists in the exploration and production of iodine and halogen-based specialty chemical derivatives – said it now anticipates crystalline iodine production in the second half to exceed 265 metric tonnes (MT).
It added that would take the company's full year 2017 crystalline iodine production total to over 500 MT (2016: 474.2 MT), barring significant weather or other year end issues.
The group pointed out that it had expected total crystalline iodine production in the second half to be in the range of 225-240 metric tonnes but measures executed by Iofina's operations team, as well as by the company's brine supply partners, have resulted in better than expected volumes.
Iofina also said that construction at IO#7 continues to progress well within expected timeframes and budget, with most of the large infrastructure complete and the next stage of construction will shift to finalizing electrical and plumbing requirements.
It added that, barring significant changes in weather, hydrostatic and other plant testing is expected in January 2018, with first production commencing in February 2018.
In late afternoon trading, Iofina shares were nearly 9% higher at 15.5p.
New IO#7 plant could bring on another 40% more iodine
Speaking to Proactive Investors after the announcement today, Iofina’s president and CEO Dr Tom Becker said there have been improvements with “negotiations with some partners that have allowed us to get a little bit more water at some of our plants, and that’s been a positive.”
“But,” he added, “the biggest thing is that our management team and down to our operators at plant level have just done a really good job of keeping the plants going, improving efficiencies, keeping downtime to a minimum and as a result we have been able to produce more iodine”.
Becker also noted that, from current production, the new IO#7 plant could bring on another 40% more iodine to that levels.
He said: “It probably won’t happen right away as we ramp that plant up to capacity, but we anticipate that in the first quarter it could increase by 40% from where we are at today.”
The Iofina boss also pointed out that iodine prices in the second half have recovered and increased, having held steady over the last couple of months, which is positive news for the company moving forward.
-- Adds share price, comments from interview with CEO --