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OZ profit up 150 per cent as copper booms


OZ Minerals’ net profit after tax (NPAT) increased to $530.7 million in 2021 as the major miner benefited from high copper prices.

This represents a 150 per cent increase on the $212.6 million NPAT OZ reported in 2020. The Adelaide-based company enjoyed $2.1 billion of revenue for 2021 compared to $1.34 billion the previous year.

The realised copper price was up 42 per cent in Australian dollar terms year-on-year in 2021, which came amid an intensifying electrification movement driving the demand for battery metals.

OZ Minerals also increased its year-on-year copper and gold sale volumes by approximately 30,000 tonnes and 12,000 ounces, respectively.

“Higher production volumes, with Carrapateena now fully contributing and gold stockpiles complementing Prominent Hill production, combined with effective cost control, allowed us to take full advantage of robust copper prices during the year,” OZ managing director and chief executive officer Andrew Cole said.

OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper-gold mine in South Australia produced 55,262 tonnes of copper and 89,778 ounces of gold in 2021, while its Prominent Hill copper-gold-silver project in SA produced 62,927 tonnes of copper and 141,676 ounces of gold.

Despite the strong production levels, OZ was not immune to the pandemic-related difficulties.

“These results were delivered notwithstanding a more difficult final quarter impacted by COVID-related absenteeism, which has continued into 2022,” Cole continued.

“When combined with an extreme rain event that affected our South Australian logistics, we are likely to see a slower start to 2022 production, building back in line with full year guidance as the year progresses.”

OZ shareholders were rewarded with a 34 cents per share total dividend in 2021, comprising a fully franked final dividend of 18 cents per share, an eight-cents-per-share fully franked interim dividend and an eight-cents-per-share fully franked special dividend paid in September 2021.

The major miner said its West Musgrave project study continues to advance. OZ expects to make a final investment decision on the Western Australian copper-nickel project in the second half of 2022.

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