Timminco Limited
TSX : TIM

Timminco Limited

April 22, 2008 12:32 ET

Timminco Limited Provides Update on Solar Grade Silicon Production

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - April 22, 2008) - Timminco Limited ("Timminco") (TSX:TIM) today provided an update with respect to the production and shipment of solar grade silicon through its wholly-owned subsidiary Becancour Silicon Inc. ("BSI"). BSI has been a leader in the production of silicon metal for more than 30 years.

During 2007, BSI shipped 89 metric tons ("mt") of solar grade silicon metal to customers and concluded four long-term contracts for the production and shipment of up to 6,000 mt annually, commencing in 2009.

During the first quarter of 2008, BSI completed the commissioning of its 3,600 mt solar grade plant with the second and third of three 1,200 mt lines starting on February 2 and 28 respectively. During this ramp-up period in the first quarter, BSI produced and shipped 100 mt of solar grade silicon an average selling price in excess of $60 per kilogram. Each shipment was tested by an independent laboratory and met specifications set by customers.

Based on its own analysis and the acceptance of its product by leading companies in the solar industry, Timminco announced the expansion of BSI's solar grade silicon capacity to 14,400 mt per year, with the incremental capacity on stream by the end of the second quarter of 2009. Since this announcement on February 22, Timminco has placed orders for the critical production equipment and will begin construction of the new facility in the second quarter of 2008 as originally planned. At the same time, the ramp-up of operations at the existing facility is proceeding in line with expectations to achieve the targeted production rate by the beginning of the third quarter 2008. Timminco's cumulative capital expenditures for the existing and new facilities are expected to be in excess of $90 million.

On March 26, 2008, BSI announced the signing of an agreement to supply solar grade silicon to Q-Cells AG ("Q-Cells"), the world's largest manufacturer of solar cells. Q-Cells has recognized Timminco as "one of the world's leading specialists in specialty and light metals," and has stated that "in extensive tests, Q-Cells has achieved very good results in manufacturing cells." Shipments to Q-Cells were included in the 100 mt of solar grade silicon shipped in the first quarter.

BSI's process is the subject of two patents pending for manufacturing processes. During 2007, the company filed a formal patent application with the U.S. and international patent authorities in respect of one of its processes for purifying low-grade silicon metal. The company has a 2006 priority date in respect of this patent application. The international patent examiner has provided a positive report on such application. The company filed a second patent application in 2008 in respect of another process for purifying low-grade silicon metal.

ABOUT TIMMINCO

Timminco is a leader in the production and marketing of lightweight metals, specializing in solar grade silicon for the rapidly growing solar photovoltaic energy industry. Using its proprietary technology, Timminco processes metallurgical grade silicon into low cost solar grade silicon for use in the manufacture of solar cells. Timminco also produces silicon metal, specialty ferrosilicon and alloy magnesium for use in a broad range of industrial applications serving the aluminum, chemical, pharmaceutical, electronics and automotive industries.

CAUTIONARY NOTE ON FORWARD-LOOKING INFORMATION

This news release contains "forward-looking information", as such term is defined in applicable Canadian securities legislation, concerning Timminco's future financial or operating performance and other statements that express management's expectations or estimates of future developments, circumstances or results. Generally, forward-looking information can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "expects", "believes", "anticipates", "budget", "scheduled", "estimates", "forecasts", "intends", "plans" and variations of such words and phrases, or by statements that certain actions, events or results "may", "will", "could", "would" or "might" "be taken", "occur" or "be achieved". In this news release, such information includes statements regarding future production capacity and timing, including construction of the planned new facilities, for Timminco's solar grade silicon business. Forward-looking information is based on a number of assumptions and estimates that, while considered reasonable by management based on the business and markets in which Timminco operates, are inherently subject to significant operational, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies.
Timminco cautions that forward-looking information involves known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause Timminco's actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such information, including, but not limited to, expansion of the solar grade silicon business generally, delays or cost overruns in the construction of new manufacturing facilities and installing and commissioning new equipment, commitments under existing and prospective long-term contracts for solar grade silicon, maintaining and further improving the purity of solar grade silicon, and protection of intellectual property rights. These and other factors are discussed in greater detail in Timminco's most recent Management's Discussion and Analysis. Although Timminco has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from those contained in forward-looking information, there can be other factors that cause results, performance or achievements not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such information will prove to be accurate or that management's expectations or estimates of future developments, circumstances or results will materialize. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on forward-looking information. The forward-looking information in this news release is made as of the date of this news release and Timminco disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise such information, except as required by applicable law.

Contact Information

  • Timminco Limited
    Robert Dietrich
    Executive Vice President - Finance and CFO
    (416) 364-5171
    (416) 364-3451 (FAX)
    Email: rdietrich@timminco.com