Impairment of non-financial assets

Intangible assets that have an indefinite useful life, such as goodwill, are not amortized on a scheduled basis, but are subjected to an annual impairment test. Furthermore, an assessment is made at every balance sheet date to determine whether there are any indications that the asset could be impaired. In the same way, items of property, plant and equipment are tested for impairment if there are any indications of such impairment.

Since the metals contained in the minimum stock can be recovered and the utilization potential of the minimum stock is not subject to wear and tear as it is not used in the production process, an unlimited useful life is assumed. The minimum stocks are therefore not amortized on a scheduled basis but are instead tested for impairment in conjunction with the respective production facilities if there are any indications of such impairment.

Assets that are amortized on a scheduled basis are tested for impairment if events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying amount might not be recoverable. Impairment losses are recorded in the amount by which the carrying amount exceeds the recoverable amount. The recoverable amount is the higher of the fair value of the asset less costs to sell and its value in use. For impairment tests, assets are combined at the lowest level for which cash flows can be separately identified (so-called cash-generating units). With the exception of goodwill, non-monetary assets on which impairment losses were recognized in the past are reviewed as at each balance sheet date to see whether the impairment losses possibly have to be reversed.