Australian nickel miner Western Areas Ltd. reported a first-half profit after losses a year earlier, but said it faces lower output for the full year and higher costs, in large part due to pandemic disruptions to its workforce.
The company on Tuesday reported a net profit of 18.8 million Australian dollars ($13.5 million) for July-December compared with a loss of A$12.0 million a year earlier.
Western Areas said first-half revenue jumped on higher sales and a stronger nickel price.
However, the company said it now expects to produce 15,200-16,200 metric tons of nickel-in-concentrate in its full fiscal year, down from a prior 16,000-17,000 tons estimate.
Western Areas said it was “increasingly experiencing Covid-related productivity issues resulting from operator and maintenance staff availability.” It is also processing lower grade material because of the strong nickel price.
The company raised its full-year cost guidance to A$4.65-A$4.90 a pound from A$4.25-A$4.65 a pound previously.