ASX-listed Mincor has boosted nickel production and its operating surplus while driving down cash costs for the March 2012 quarter.
Compared to the December 2011 quarter, nickel production was up 30 per cent to 87,696t grading 3.06 per cent nickel for 2683.4t of nickel in ore. Cash costs dropped from $7 per pound of nickel in the December period to $4.96/lb for the three months ending March.
Despite lower nickel prices, Mincor’s operating surplus leapt 108 per cent to $14.58 million from $7 million in the December 2011 quarter. The rise in surplus was attributed to higher-grade
nickel and increased production levels combined with a reduction in cash costs. Mincor used the surplus to fund its share buyback program, which was implemented in June last year.
During the March 2012 quarter, Mincor bought back almost 1.6 million shares for $1.09 million: bringing its total share buyback investment to $5 million at the quarter’s end. It also had cash on hand of $75.19 million. The company has two nickel operations in WA’s Kambalda region and has been mining in the region since 2001.