In a quarterly report, Western Areas proudly announced that it had met both its full-year production and cost guidance at its operations.
Over the full year (FY19), Western produced 21,675 tonnes of nickel in concentrate across its assets, including its flagship Forrestania project in Australia, which consists of two operating mines and its own concentrator. This fell in line with its guidance of 20,000 to 22,000 tonnes for FY19.
Sales for the year peaked during the June quarter as the company sold 5,890 tonnes of nickel in concentrate, which the company attributed to a drawdown of product awaiting shipment at the end of the March quarter; total sales in FY19 hit 21,483 tonnes of nickel.
Operational cash flow in FY19 also saw its highest point during the June quarter at AU$49.3 million. According to Western, this stemmed from factors including a stronger, sustained nickel price along with the aforementioned highest quarterly sales volume for the year.
Alongside the strong sales and production, the company proudly touted the progress it made with its Odysseus project, which saw the completion of its early works package on time and on budget. With spending on the asset having hit AU$27.3 million during FY19, it stayed within the planned expenditure of AU$24 million to AU$28 million.
Early works at Odysseus included rehabilitating the decline down to its 10,000 metre RL pump station and the completion of pump station mechanical and electrical designs. According to a previous statement from the company, the asset is on track to deliver first nickel ore in early 2023.
Going forward, the company intends to soon begin offtake discussions with different members of the market as Western’s current, primary agreements are set to expire early next year.
Western’s share price grew 5.33 percent to AU$2.37 following Thursday’s (July 18) announcement.
As of July 17, nickel was trading at US$14,220 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Olivia Da Silva, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.