The Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) share price is up more than 6% after giving a March quarter production update.
What was in Western Areas’ update?
The miner said that there was an improvement in both mine and milled physicals, resulting in strong nickel in concentrate production for the quarter.
Western Areas said that the total nickel mined was 4,236 tonnes, which was up 20% quarter on quarter. The mined ore grade was 3.6%, up 27% quarter on quarter. The nickel produced in cencetrate was 4,267 tonnes, up 21% quarter on quarter as a result of higher mined grades and mill recoveries.
The Western Areas Managing Director, Dan Lougher, said: “As previously flagged to the market, we re-entered the higher-grade areas of the Flying Fox mine this quarter, and saw improved mined nickel grades from Spotted Quoll. This result was setup by the significant development and rehabilitation of existing ore drives achieved during the previous December quarter, which allowed access to and mining of higher grade ore tonnes in the March quarter.”
I’m not mining expert, but I am fairly cautious about miners because they are price takers – they have to sell at whatever price they can get for their commodity.
However, there could be a good long term future for nickel because it is used in both the steel industry as well as batteries and hybrid vehicles.