On 11 October 2018, OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) announced that after the investment of $22 million it has completed 51 per cent earn in for West Musgrave project. Following the release of this news the share price of the company decreased by 3.82 percent as on 11 October 2018.
OZ minerals had joined hands with Cassini Resources (ASX: CZI) to conduct a Pre-Feasibility study of the West Musgrave copper nickel project which is focused on further drilling and improved metallurgical recoveries. The current CEO of OZ Minerals Mr. Andrew Cole pointed that early study results had been encouraging in a number of areas which includes resource extension drilling and metallurgy and he also pointed that good progress is made in heritage clearances and community engagement.
The recent early metallurgical test results demonstrated significant improvements over the results achieved during the further Scoping Study and there is also a significant improvement in copper and nickel recoveries. While nickel concentrate grade remains in line with the further Scoping Study, the copper concentrate grade has been increased. These improved results and regional exploration drill program have given more assurance to the company that West Musgrave Project is capable of being an exciting new mineral province with near mine and district opportunities. Due to the 2018 resource drilling program the company is having more confidence in the existing resource model and geological interpretation, following which the company is now planning to bring forward the 2019 infill drilling program to start soon, to enhance the potential Feasibility Study schedule. With the West Musgrave project’s PFS being well on track, Cassini Resources is also looking forward to continuing the strong relationship with OZ Minerals as the project progresses.
Due to High copper prices and disciplined operating performance, there was a significant improvement in the half year financial results of OZ Minerals. In the first half of FY 2018, OZ Minerals underlying NPAT increased by 66 percent over the prior corresponding period to $134 million. Due to lower copper volumes sales, the H1 2018’s underlying NPAT is lower than H2 2017’s underlying NPAT. The underlying EBIT of the company increased by 33 percent over the prior corresponding period to $290 million. Due to higher A$ copper price and ongoing operational efficiencies, the EBITDA margin improved to 55% (up from 49%). The company maintained a strong cash balance of $493 million after significant investment in growth pipeline and finalization of prior year tax. Company’s copper production of 54,597 tonnes and Gold production of 58,994 ounces is on track for annual guidance. This year the company safely completed the Open pit closure and stockpile processing started with cash benefit of no open pit mining costs or associated overheads.
In the last three months, the share price of the company decreased by 4.81 percent as on 10 October 2018. OZL shares traded at $8.560 with a market capitalization of $2.87 billion as on 11 October 2018 (AEST 2:30 PM).
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