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OZ Minerals returns to profit

 

Gold and copper miner Oz Minerals has returned to profit as it looks to boost the value of its copper output and diversify its customer base.

OZ Minerals said a "razor sharp" focus on operational efficiencies had paid off, allowing the company to turn a $51.8 million half year net profit compared to a $7.4 million loss the previous year.

The Adelaide-based miner said it would accelerate copper production and focus on increasing the value of its copper output over the next few years.

Copper production is expected to be at the upper end of its guidance of 110,000 to 120,000 tonnes for 2015.

"The company is continuing its strategy of further diversifying its customer base through sales of customised concentrate to smelters, traders, and blending operations," Oz Minerals said in a statement.

The company forecasts production of between 105,000 tonnes and 115,000 tonnes of copper in 2016 and 2017 and between 90,000 tonnes and 100,000 tonnes in 2018.

Gold production was down for the first six months of 2015, but production is forecast to be between 100,000 ounces and 110,000 ounces from 2016 to 2018.

Oz Minerals declared an interim dividend of six cents per share, down from 10 cents.

"The hard decisions we made at the beginning of 2015 are now realising value for our shareholders," Managing director Andrew Cole said.

He added that the company's new strategy was starting to drive business performance.

Oz Minerals also declared itself debt-free, with a $US200 million debt facility in place, but undrawn.

In May, the company said it had cut around $44 million in costs and wanted to take advantage of the global slide in commodity prices to look for acquisitions.

Shares in Oz Minerals fell 19 cents, or 5.12 per cent, to $3.52.