Wheatbelt nickel miner Western Areas says it is pleased with its quarterly results, despite seeing small drops in production and sales and higher costs.
The company, which mines east of Hyden, mined nearly 158,000 tonnes of nickel from its WA mines in the December quarter.
That was a slight decrease on the three months to September but higher than both the March and June quarters.
Sales were also slightly down on the September quarter but analysts have described the results as “better than expected”.
Managing director Dan Lougher says he is pleased.
“I think it’s pretty strong,” he said.
“Obviously we’ve been in a time when nickel pricing hasn’t been that strong, so the company has made strong efforts in reducing costs.”
Western Areas says it is hopeful it will see medium to long-term relief from the Indonesian Government’s move to severely restrict raw nickel exports.
The ban, announced earlier this month, is expected to restrict the amount of nickel pig iron the world can produce.
It comes amid continued tough times for nickel producers, with the Wheatbelt miner coming off a financial year in which it announced nearly $100 million worth of writedowns.
Mr Lougher says he is hopeful the effects from the Indonesian move will be felt from later this year.
“So we’ve got to go through now this period of consolidation but at the end of the day it’s very positive, not in the short-term but in the medium to long-term that nickel pig iron will be capped,” he said.
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