OZ Minerals hits FY guidance

Shares in group surge as it meets FY copper and gold guidance in year to December, cash position continues to deteriorate.

OZ Minerals (OZL) has met its full-year copper and gold guidance, but recorded significant declines in output on the previous year as well as reiterating its caution over the year ahead.

Shares in OZ Minerals surged in early trade. At 1030 AEDT, OZ Minerals shares were 17.59% higher at $3.61, against a benchmark index incline of 0.8%.

In earlier trade, OZ Minerals hit as high as $3.70.

In the year to December 31, OZ Minerals produced 73,362 tonnes of copper, a decline on the 101,362 tonnes in the year to December 2012.

In the same period, OZ Minerals produced 128,045 ounces of gold, compared to 140,746 in 2012.

Both production figures fall within the upper end of the group's 2013 full-year guidance - between 70,000 tonnes to 75,000 tonnes of copper and 120,000 ounces to 130,000 ounces of gold.

The miner reiterated its 2014 guidance of between 75,000 and 80,000 tonnes for copper and between 130,000 and 140,000 ounces for gold.

The guidance was first released in late December when the group flagged only a slight lift in full-year guidance from 2013 to 2014.

At the time, JP Morgan was estimating production of 90,700 tonnes of copper in the year.

Cash position deteriorating

OZ Minerals said its cash position, as at December 31, was $363 million.

In its 2012 annual review, OZ Minerals said it had a cash balance of $659 million at the end of December 2012 compared to $886.1 million as at December 31, 2011.

In the full year, C1 cash costs were $US1.796 per pound, below the previous guidance range of $US1.90 per pound to $US2.05 per pound.

OZ Minerals said cash costs in 2014 are expected to be in the range of $US1.15 per pound to $US1.25 per pound of payable copper.

"This is a reduction from the result in 2013 and reflects a number of factors including increased copper and gold production together with a lower proportion of waste tonnes allocated to the income statement," the group said.

"This reduction also reflects the benefit of cost saving initiatives implemented in 2013, which remain ongoing."

OZ Minerals said C1 costs are expected to reduce through the year as production is expected to be higher in the second half.

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