Underground mining at the Mincor Miitel mine near Kambalda.
Underground mining at the Mincor Miitel mine near Kambalda.

Nickel miner Mincor will maintain a fully franked interim dividend of two cents despite posting a $2.21 million first-half loss on weak nickel prices and non cash depreciation and amortisation charges.

The result compares with a 350,000 profit in the previous corresponding period.

The miner generated EBITDA of $14.77 million, down only slightly on the previous corresponding period, citing its lowest production costs since 2009.

The company produced 5063 tonnes of nickel-in-ore at cash costs of $5.07 a pound in the first half and said it was on track to meet or exceed its target of 9000 tonnes for the full-year and substantially outperform its cost target.

Mincor said its balance sheet remained strong, with no debt and $75.92 million in cash and receivables, net of creditors and accruals at the end of the period.

Mincor's managing director David Moore said the past six months had seen the nickel price reach what may be its nadir, having dropped about 45 per cent between February 2011 and August 2012.

"This has put the entire industry under pressure and decimated profits globally," he said.

"Under these circumstances, it is pleasing that Mincor has been able to maintain a strong operating performance and continue to generate substantial levels of free cash."

"This free cash has been used to advance our exploration projects in Kambalda, regional Australia and PNG."

Mr Moore said while it was disappointing to report a bottom line accounting loss, the company believed that it was in great shape and stood ready to reap the benefits of any positive change in commodity prices or exchange rates.

Mincor shares were steady at 98 cents at 9.55am.

The West Australian

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