OZ Minerals has boosted its dividend and says it will continue to reward shareholders ahead of a large capital expenditure program.
The copper and gold producer declared an interim dividend of 14 cents per share, up from six cents in the previous half and no dividend a year earlier.
The miner has doubled full year profit and anticipates another strong year ahead as it increases its full year production forecasts and continues to focus on cost cutting.
Oz Minerals expects to announce a decision on February 26 on development options for Carrapateena, an iron-oxide copper-gold deposit in South Australia.
Chief executive Andrew Cole said the company had not factored in a potential Carrapateena development into the 2015 dividend decision.
"That dividend suggests that the cash that was generated from 2015 does warrant some of that being returned to shareholders," Mr Cole told an investor call on Wednesday.
"I'm not worried about the ability to fund Carrapateena, assuming it's one of the higher grade options.
"Continuing to reward shareholders predictably and reliably is a very important attribute for a company like ours and we have the capacity to do it and the capability to do it."
He said the company had a cash balance of around half a billion dollars.
Oz Minerals' dividend policy provides for the company returning a minimum 20 per cent of net cash generated which is not needed for investment activity.
Net profit rose to $130.2 million in calendar 2015, from $48.5 million a year earlier, aided by cost cuts and higher production volumes at its Prominent Hill mine in South Australia's north.
The company said that despite a 20 per cent fall in the copper price over the year, it was largely insulated by the 17 per cent fall in the Australian dollar.
Meanwhile, the average dollar gold price increased by 10 per cent.
Guidance for contained copper production has increased to 115,000-125,000 tonnes, up from 105,000-115,000 tonnes.
Gold production guidance has been upgraded to 125,000-135,000 ounces, from 100,000-110,000 ounces.
Oz Minerals has set its 2016 exploration budget at $10 million to $15 million.
Shares in the company were 13 cents, or 3.1 per cent, lower at $4.11 at 1240 AEDT.