The Producers

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Seems like some companies have been busy to the point where some have beaten their production forecasts.

Atlas ships record 10.9 million tonnes for FY2014

Atlas Iron (ASX: AGO) has beaten its full-year production guidance after shipping 3.1 million tonnes in the June 2014 quarter.

The result took shipments to a record for the company of 10.9Mt for the year to 30 June 2014, a 47 per cent increase on the previous corresponding period.

The full-year result includes 9.6Mt of Standard Fines and 1.3Mt of Value Fines.

Atlas previously provided production guidance for FY2014 of 9 to 9.3Mt of Standard Fines and 1.2 to 1.4Mt of Value Fines.

The June 2014 Quarter result also means Atlas has achieved its target of hitting a production rate of 12 million tonnes per annum in FY2014.

“These strong quarterly and annual production results again demonstrate Atlas’ ability to operate existing projects efficiently while at the same time developing new mines,” Atlas Iron managing director Ken Brinsden said.

“We believe the combination of our existing operations, our resource base and our outstanding pipeline of growth options puts us in an enviable position among our peer group.

“We are confident that the supply and demand balance for iron ore and the ‘value–in-use’ differential between products of differing grades, means both price and product discounts have likely overshot their natural range.

“While it is good to see some stability emerge in iron ore markets in recent weeks, we will continue to focus on those matters we can control.”

Northern Star beats production guidance

Northern Star Resources (ASX: NST) boasted that it has beaten its June Quarter production guidance thanks to strong results at all its operations.

The company announced production, as measured by gold sold, from the Paulsens, Plutonic, Kundana and Kanowna Belle projects totalled 115,819 ounces in the three months to 30 June 2014.

When it picked up the Plutonic, Kundana and Kanowna Belle assets, Northern Star provided guidance that its total production, including Paulsens, would run at the rate of approximately 350,000 ounces per annum.

Northern Star settled the Plutonic acquisition in February 2014 and the Kundana and Kanowna Belle acquisitions in March 2014.

The acquisition of the Jundee gold mine was settled on 1 July 2014, which means the production of 75,390 ounces for the June quarter was not attributable to Northern Star.

The company pointed out, however, that if these ounces were to be included its combined total of gold production would equate to 191,209 ounces for the June quarter.

When it acquired Jundee, Northern Star provided guidance that its total production would rise to the rate of 550,000 to 600,000 ounces per annum.

Northern Star had $82.3 million in cash at 30 June 2014 compared with $67 million as at 31 March 2014.

The company indicated the 30 June figure comes after paying out $16.4 million in abnormal expenses including the deposit for Jundee, redundancies and transactional costs.

“We are pleased to provide more firm evidence that our newly-acquired mines are performing even better than we forecast,” Northern Star managing director Bill Beament said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Production has exceeded our guidance across the board, putting us well on track to achieve our goal of being the second-biggest and one of the most profitable ASX-listed gold producers with the scale and asset diversity demanded by global institutions.

“There is strong demand among these investors for gold mining houses that meet their criteria.

“As these results show, Northern Star can now help fill that void.”