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OZ Minerals flags profit hit

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Prominent Hill mine owner Oz Minerals has announced it anticipates a first half profit hit in the range of $200 million to $240 million after tax.

The miner said the impairment is the result of falling copper and gold prices and the estimate will be finalised pending board approvals and an auditors’ review.

Oz Minerals made the announcement after impairment testing of its South Australian Prominent Hill operation.

The company said the Australian dollar’s recent dip below parity with the US dollar has been beneficial but higher asset values as a result of capitalisation works at the new Malu open pit has contributed to the expected impairment.

In July Australian Mining reported 61 jobs were cut from the Prominent Hill site as the miner attempted to cut discretionary spending.

Earlier this year the company reported net profit was down nearly 44 per cent from $274.5 million in 2011 to $152 million in 2012.

At the time company managing director Terry Burgess said the downgrade was due to higher exploration, lower commodity prices, and higher production costs.

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