UPDATE 1-Miner Sherritt posts loss after charge, weak Canadian dollar

Wed Apr 30, 2014 7:41am EDT

(Adds details, background, shares)

April 30 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Sherritt International Corp reported a quarterly loss due to charges related to a Madagascar mine and costs related to the weakening of the Canadian dollar.

Sherritt, once Canada's biggest thermal coal producer, reported a net loss of C$48.2 million ($44 million), or 16 Canadian cents per share, in the quarter ended March 31.

The company reported a profit of C$23.1 million, or 8 Canadian cents per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 13 percent to C$120.9 million.

The company said it recorded C$27.5 million in expenses related to the Ambatovy nickel and cobalt mine in Madagascar, which started production in January.

Sherritt owns 40 percent of the Ambatovy joint venture, with Sumitomo Metal Mining Co Ltd, Korea Resources Investment & Development Inc and SNC-Lavalin Group Inc holding the rest.

The company also has a joint venture with the Cuban state to mine nickel.

Sherritt is engaged in a battle with activist investor George Armoyan, the chief executive of investment holding company Clarke Inc, over a slate of nominees to the miner's board.

Shareholders affiliated with Armoyan, who own some 5 percent of the shares of Sherritt, have accused Sherritt management of destroying value for shareholders and has criticized payments made to Sherritt's directors to compensate them for U.S. sanctions against Cuba.

Sherritt also has interests in oil and gas production and electricity generation.

The company's shares closed at C$4.66 on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday.

($1 = 1.10 Canadian dollars) (Reporting By Shubhankar Chakravorty in Bangalore; Editing by Don Sebastian)

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