Western Areas upgrades FY guidance

Western Areas has upgraded its guidance of nickel sold to a record high for the second time in under two months.

Western Areas has upgraded its estimates for the amount of nickel it sold to a record high for the second time in under two months and said that its cash holdings is 14% ahead of management's expectations.

The Australia-based nickel miner now expects 27,819 tonnes of nickel in concentrate sold for 2012-13, up from the previous estimate of 26,271 tonnes at the end of May, as a result of better operational performance (see Brendon Lau's Mining for a ROE revival).

"This sales result, combined with our unrelenting focus on cost management, has also delivered a signficantly higher unaudited cash position of $80 million, versus guidance of greater than $70 million," said managing director Dan Lougher.

Western Areas expects to generate free cash flow for the quarter of around $22 million.

The miner also added that its initial estimates for production, unit cash costs, capital expenditure and exploration will be in line or better than guidance and will be issued later this month.

The company's share price has tumbled 40.8% to $2.64 year to date, compared to the LME nickel cash price's 18.9% fall to $US13,780 a tonne.

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