Chris Ellison says the company will seek investment opportunities.

MinRes lifts dividend

Thursday, 18 February, 2016 - 15:33

Shares in miner and contractor Mineral Resources were up 13 per cent today after it announced dividends of 8.5 cents per share, about 60 per cent larger than what it committed to in November.

In its half-yearly results report today MinRes revealed an Ebitda of $133 million, which it said was in line with the corresponding period last year, and a major increase in net profit after tax of around 250 per cent.

After adjustments relating to the abolition of the Mineral Resources Rent Tax, net profit was about $48 million, up from a loss of $30 million in the six months to December 2014.

Revenue was down around 23 per cent to $577 million, while the company more than doubled its EBITDA margin on iron ore to $7.30 per tonne.

Cash costs were 22 per cent lower, partly due to the introduction of super quad road trains in Iron Valley.

Iron ore export volumes were up 8 per cent, to 5.9 million tonnes, with the company forecasting the price will average $US42 in the period to June.

There was an additional indication of the timeline for the Mt Marion lithium project, in which Mineral Resources owns a 30 per cent stake.

The company said construction would be complete by mid-2016 with shipments commencing within two months.

The company said it was continuing working on design and funding models of its planned bulk ore transport system,although the company warned the implementation would depend on potential returns.

MinRes managing director Christopher Ellison said the company would seek to take advantage of opportunities to invest and enter new contracts given the point in the commodity cycle.

“Planning and design work of a number of innovative mining infrastructure services solutions is well progressed and we expect these will substantially reduce operating costs over time for MinRes clients and our own projects,” he said.

“MinRes continues to support innovation and developments in the materials handling and mineral processing industry designed to improve efficiency in the sector.”

By contrast, the company earned less from its construction division as work dried up.

A share buyback of up to $30 million is also in operation, while the company has $174 million of cash on hand.

Mineral Resources was $5 per share at the close of trading.