Thursday, 17 January 2013 15:29
Paladin Energy's efforts to make its operations more efficient has put the uranium miner in a good position to meet its full year production forecast.
Shares in the company reached $1.22 in early trade, closing two cents, or 1.7 per cent higher at $1.175.
Paladin posted record quarterly and annual production at both its Langer Heinrich and Kayelekera mines to 31 December 2012, the company said on Thursday.
Combined production for the December quarter was 2.191 million pounds (Mlb), a 13.6 per cent increase on the September quarter result.
The company said production guidance for fiscal 2013 remains on target for 8.0 to 8.5 million pounds.
"The strong combined production over the past two quarters places the group in a good position to achieve its stated production target guidance," Paladin said in a statement.
It also said there was an opportunity to deliver in the upper end of the range.
Cost savings and optimisation initiatives had continued with total costs and unit production costs reducing at both mines.
It comes two months after Paladin announced it will slash costs by up to $US80 million ($76.97 million) and cut some staff after putting a freeze on development due to the weak uranium price.
In the December quarter the company made sales of 2.8 million pounds, generating revenue of $US133.9 million ($127.19 million).
However, Paladin said the overall mined quantities decreased over the quarter as one of the primary excavators was taken out of operation as part of the cost saving program.
Patersons analyst Simon Tonkin said the gains were due to cost savings for fiscal 2013 and 2014 and an increase in exploration values.
"A positive December quarterly report demonstrated record quarterly production," Mr Tonkin said in a research note.
He said there had also been several positive developments in the uranium space, with indications that Japan will restart its nuclear reactors and the resumption of Chinese nuclear reactor construction.
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