Western Areas has acknowledged a growing skills shortage in the resources sector as the nickel miner posted a 20 per cent lift in profit to $14.2 million on higher volumes and higher prices for its products.
Managing director Dan Lougher said it was increasingly challenging to access experienced mining professionals and industry graduates.
“To this end, the company continues to support university graduates and front-line training opportunities to increase mining industry participation,” he said.
The result was achieved on the back of an 8 per cent lift in revenue to $269 million.
The company declared a final dividend of 2¢ a share, fully franked, in-line with the previous year.
Western Areas ended the year with $144.3 million in the bank and no debt.
The nickel miner achieved a price of $7.84/lb for its product over the year compared with $7.53/lb the previous year.
Mr Lougher said the company was encouraged by the improvement in the nickel price environment and its positive impact on the financial results and earnings.
“Strong cashflow from our operating assets enables both continued investment in organic growth projects, such as Odysseus, and the maintenance of reasonable returns to shareholders,” he said.
“We continue to focus on operating our Forrestania assets as safely and efficiently as possible, while also entering the exciting development phase of the Odysseus mine at Cosmos.”
Western Areas shares were up 2¢ to $2.49 at 9.30am.