UPDATE 1.05pm: Mirabela Nickel has lifted production and reduced costs at its underperforming Santa Rita nickel mine in Brazil.
The company reported record production for the quarter ending September 30 of 5441 tonnes of nickel in concentrate, up 27 per cent on the previous quarter, and record quarterly sales of 5381 tonnes, up 12 per cent on the previous quarter.
Mirabela said the mine and processing plant at Santa Rita were now running at full capacity following the completion of the recent processing plant upgrade.
Cash costs were down 11 per cent on the previous quarter to $US5.38 a pound.
"Further cost reduction initiatives are underway with the main opportunity areas being process plant nickel recovery optimisation and improved mobile fleet efficiencies," the company said.
Mirabela said it remained on track to meet the lower end of recent production guidance of between 19,000 to 21,000 tonnes of nickel in concentrate for 2012.
Capital expenditure was within the full year guidance of $US60 million, with $US41 million spent in the year to date.
The company said it held cash on hand and deposit of $US160.19 million at the end of the period.Mirabela shares closed down half a cent at 46.5 cents after reaching a peak of 52 cents in earlier trade.