20/02/2009 - 10:11

Minara posts $19.8m net loss for 2008

20/02/2009 - 10:11

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A sharp fall in the nickel price, the Varanus Island gas explosion and write downs have all contributed to a red calendar year for Minara Resources, which reported a net loss of $19.8 million, down from the previous year's $270.5 million net profit.

Minara posts $19.8m net loss for 2008

A sharp fall in the nickel price, the Varanus Island gas explosion and write downs have all contributed to a red calendar year for Minara Resources, which reported a net loss of $19.8 million, down from the previous year's $270.5 million net profit.

In its full year report released today, the nickel miner said the net loss included allowances and write downs of $8.7 million, up from $8.2 million in 2007.

Nickel metal prices averaged $US21,068 per tonne, around half that of the previous year's price, while cobalt prices averaged $US35.74 per pound.

Minara was also impacted by the Varanus Island gas explosion in June, with the processing plant at the Murrin Murrin mine non-operational for five days.

"After securing additional gas supplies the plant operated at two-thirds capacity through to early July," Minara said.

"During the second half of 2008 production was further impacted by a 12 day planned maintenance shutdown to repair duct work in the acid plant."

Despite the impacts to the plant, the miner reported a higher nickel output of 30,514 tonnes, up from 27,585t, while cobalt production reached 2018t, up from the previous year's 1884t.

Minara said it expects to produce between 30,000t and 34,000t of nickel and 2000t and 4000t of cobalt in 2009.

Cash costs were down from $US6.25/lb to $US5.39/lb.

Revenue for 2008 fell from $783.4 million to $425.4 million, while gross profit slumped from $403.3 million to $8.4 million.

Cash at the end of the period was $142.5 million, down from $156.7 million and Minara remains unhedged in nickel, cobalt and currency.

Shares in Minara were down 2.5 cents to 35.5c at 12:18 AEDT.

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