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St Ives sours WMC shares

WMC Ltd’s first-half profit of $181.9 million disappointed a share market with high expectations despite a 34 per cent increase in profits over the same period last year. The share price closed at $8.08, slashed from its opening rate of $8.35, representing a 3 per cent slice off WMC’s market capitalisation. By far the largest single impact to market figures was the loss of 33,000 ounces of gold production from the St Ives operation, Kambalda. Lower production of nickel, gold and alumina, together with an increase in operational costs have also contributed to the falling price. The company is expected to recover substantially in the second half with expectations of a $500 million full-year earnings announcement.

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