Russian iron ore firm Aricom Plc (OREA.L), which has agreed a takeover by gold producer Peter Hambro Mining Plc (POG.L), posted a 2008 net loss of $426.6 million after a major impairment charge.

Aricom, which has suspended its only fledgling operation due to low prices, said it took an impairment charge of $386 million.

Aricom's loss compared to a profit of $111,000 in 2007.

The firm launched mining at its Kuranakh deposit in the Russian Far East in June 2008, but suspended production in December as the global slowdown hit steel companies which buy iron ore as a raw material.

On Feb. 6, Hambro announced an agreement for an all-share offer for Aricom, which was worth about $523 million based on closing prices on Wednesday.

Aricom said on Thursday it expected the transaction to be completed in late April. (Reporting by Eric Onstad; editing by Simon Jessop)© Thomson Reuters 2009 All rights reserved.