07/05/2009 - 00:00

Factors come together for Independence

07/05/2009 - 00:00

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A COUPLE of Independence Group directors have sold a swag of shares on market, taking advantage of the company's recovering share price.

A COUPLE of Independence Group directors have sold a swag of shares on market, taking advantage of the company's recovering share price.

Managing director Christopher Bonwick and non-executive director Rodney Marston pocketed a combined $2.37 million from the sale of 650,000 shares earlier this month at slightly below the company's closing price on the day of the transactions.

The sale left Mr Bonwick with a shareholding worth $12 million while Mr Marston's interest is valued at $6.3 million.

An explanation for the share sale was not provided and calls to Messrs Bonwick and Marston were not returned at time of publishing.

The transactions follows this week's release of Independence's March quarterly report where it booked a net profit after tax of $5 million, a turnaround from the previous quarter's $1.2 million net loss. Independence operates the Long nickel mine in Kambalda.

Boosting the company's bottom line was the below budget operating costs of $3.39 a pound compared to a planned $4.83 a pound.

Nickel prices are currently trading at around $A7.20 per pound.

Also adding to Independence's prospects is the Tropicana gold joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti, with a prefeasibility study due for completion this quarter.

The positive quarterly report along with a strengthening nickel price is a different scenario to where Independence was a few months ago.

Then, the nickel miner reported a 99.7 per cent slump in its first half net profit of $123,000 as nickel prices languished at lows of just over $US9000 a tonne or $A5.45 a pound, a level not seen since 2003.

But a pick up in the nickel price and a robust gold price has boosted Independence's share price over 220 per cent from a low of $1.22 to a high of $4 reached this week.

ASX REVIEW

A report by the Australian Securities Exchange has revealed 3,393 directors interest notices were lodged during the March quarter, down from the previous corresponding period's 4,137 notices.

Of the 3,393 notices lodged, 93 per cent were lodged correctly and on time while 2.8 per cent may have breached the Corporations Act. Compared to last year's March quarter, 87 per cent were lodged properly while the breach rate was 6.4 per cent.

ASX said it has referred the breaches to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission.

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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