Western Areas — the last man standing in Australia’s nickel sector — says it is still a long way from following its peers in shutting down its nickel mines, with the company instead pushing ahead with exploration studies despite recording a first-half loss.
The Perth-based miner yesterday axed its dividend and revealed a 10 per cent cut in salaries to its board and senior management after posting a $20 million loss, down from a $23.5m profit one year ago.
Western Areas is the last pure-play nickel company still in production, following the recent decisions by Panoramic Resources and Mincor Resources to shut their remaining mines. The price of nickel, which is used in the production of stainless steel, has fallen to its lowest level in a decade due to a combination of weakened demand and continued oversupply.
The company’s managing director Dan Lougher told The Australian that despite its net cash position having fallen from $53.7m to $29.9m over the past year, the company’s flagship Forrestania nickel project continued to generate operating cashflow.
Forrestania generated $14.6m in operating cashflow during the half, down from $87.6m a year ago.
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