OZ Minerals slumps on writedown

Group takes $231m impairment in first half on poor gold, copper prices.

A slump in gold and copper prices has forced Oz Minerals (OZL) to write down the value of its assets by $231 million after tax, driving the company to a net loss for the half to June of $269 million.

The underlying net loss for the period came in at $36.1 million, much worse than the $26.4 million analysts were forecasting.

An 8% decline in the price of gold and a 7% fall in copper compared to the first half of 2012 as well as a reduction in production led to revenue dropping 38% to $316.2 million.

OZ Minerals has forecast an improved outlook for its flagship Prominent Hill mine in South Australia and says that damage to the mine caused by a slip has been rectified and normal operations will recommence.

CEO Terry Burgess said,  “The future cash flow generation from Prominent Hill is significant, particularly as the waste stripping program progressively drops after this year.”

The company declared an interim dividend of 10 cents per share unfranked, payable on 25 September.