OZ Minerals delivers development progress as profits spike

Core samples at Carrapateena. Image: OZ Minerals.

OZ Minerals has significantly increased its profits so far this year after benefitting from higher copper prices and improved operational efficiencies.

The company, which released its half year results today, declared a 59 per cent increase in net profit after tax of $128 million.

It also attributed the performance to a continued focus on costs and declared an interim dividend of eight cents a share to reflect the strong result.

OZ Minerals added it was delivering on its value-based growth strategy.

Andrew Cole, OZ Minerals chief executive officer, said the company’s growth pathway was now more assured with a range of assets in various stages of development.

“Prominent Hill production is supported by a new operating mine in Antas, which is currently undergoing an optimisation review,” Cole said.

“Carrapateena construction is on track for first concentrate production in Q4 2019 and a progressive stream of projects will potentially advance to construction in the coming years, including West Musgrave in Western Australia and Pedra Branca and CentroGold in Brazil.”

In the second half of 2019, OZ Minerals expects to see the fourth access decline break through at Prominent Hill.

This will facilitate more efficient vehicle movements as underground operations ramp up, while sustaining capital expenditure to increase to its guidance range for 2018.

Cole said construction at Carrapateena remained on schedule for commissioning in fourth quarter 2019.

“Whilst Carrapateena capital expenditure will increase this half, overall capital spend for 2018 has been revised downwards from ‘circa $500 million’ to $400-$430 million,” Cole said.

“The reductions are value driven and are primarily due to the deferral of the Western Access Road and optimisation of the tailings storage facility design.”

OZ Minerals expects the Western Access Road will be completed in late 2020 to allow the company to consider a Carrapateena expansion.

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