Argo Blockchain PLC mines fewer bitcoin in May as it brings new Texas facility online

Argo Blockchain PLC (LSE:ARB, OTCQX:ARBKF, NASDAQ:ARBK, ETR:0XP) said it mined 124 bitcoin or equivalents in May compared to 166 the month before due to various factors, including unplanned downtime as it brings its new Helios mining facility in Texas online ahead of schedule and the bitcoin network experiencing an increase in difficulty.

Mining revenue of £3.1mln (US$3.9mln) was generated in the month, versus £5.5mln in April, based on daily foreign exchange rates and cryptocurrency prices during the month.

This income was generated at a bitcoin and bitcoin equivalent mining margin of 62%, down from 75% in April.

The increase in difficulty for the bitcoin network led to fewer BTC mined, while the company’s hashrate on the clean energy powered Terra Pool produced substantially lower bitcoin than in previous months, which it said was primarily due to “short-term probabilistic outcomes” and has led it to “explore all options to optimize its hashrate across alternative pools”.

Another factor was that high temperatures in Texas led to increased energy demand and higher electricity prices, to which the company said it responded by voluntarily curtailing mining operations and reducing its energy usage at Helios.

During May, the company installed 2,500 S19J Pro mining machines, as part of the agreement with Core Scientific announced in March, and also began receiving and installing the first of 20,000 S19J Pro machines purchased from Bitmain as part of a deal in September, which it anticipates will be completed by October.

By the end of May, Argo’s hashrate capacity had been increased by 300 PH/s to 1.9 EH/s and the company held 2,379 bitcoin, of which 187 were BTC equivalents.

“We have officially commenced mining at our new facility, Helios, ahead of schedule, bringing to fruition months of hard work and planning,” said chief executive Peter Wall.

“The team expected minor issues and downtime as we brought systems online, but we’ve completed 25% of the machine swap with Core Scientific and installed an additional 300 PH/s, increasing our total hashrate capacity to 1.9 EH/s.”

He added that Argo was continuing to work with ePIC Blockchain Technologies to develop custom rigs for use at Helios, with a purchase agreement executed for 6,600 custom mining machines, with a right to place additional orders for up to 23,400 machines.