Mirabela Nickel Ltd has lifted its forecasts for unit cash costs despite suffering a slide in second-quarter production and sales of nickel in concentrate.
In the three months to June 30, Mirabela produced 4,080 tonnes of nickel in concentrate, a decline on the 4,276 tonnes produced in the previous corresponding period
The results pushed its total production for the first half to 8,231 tonnes, down from 8,521 in the previous corresponding half.
Mirabela said its nickel production continued to be restricted by ore quality limitations.
Sales of nickel in concentrate for the quarter came in at 4,168 tonnes, a significant drop on the 4,787 sold in the previous corresponding period.
In the first half sales were 8,075 tonnes, below the 8,942 recorded in the previous corresponding half.
In the half the nickel in concentrate produced was sold at an average unit cash cost of $US5.48/lb.
Mirabela said it expects unit cash costs to average between $US5/lb and $US6/lb in 2013.
The group also reaffirmed its updated guidance for 2013 with production expected to be 17,000 to 18,500 tonnes of nickel in concentrate, while capital expenditure, exploration and study costs are set to cost between US$35 million and US$45 million.
At the end of the second quarter, Mirabela'a cash on hand and on deposit was $US108.12 million, compared to $US141 million at the end of the first quarter.