The Kylylahti copper mine, part of Altona s Outokumpu project in Finland.
The Kylylahti copper mine, part of Altona's Outokumpu project in Finland.

Shares in Altona Mining were firmer after the copper miner announced it would be debt free by the end of the month, well ahead of its original schedule.

The company, which is generating cashflow from its Outokumpu copper project in Finland, said it would repay its $US10 million debt facility in full on March 31.

Altona said the cash had been released from the closure of the majority of the company's copper hedge book.

"The company will have approximately $16.5 million in cash at March 31 and will be debt free, two years ahead of schedule," Altona said in a statement.

Managing director Dr Alistair Cowden said the value of the company's euro-dominated copper hedging had increased significantly in the past few months, driven by falling copper prices and the strong euro.

"This has permitted Altona to repay its debt," he said.

"We retain a strong cash balance, remain profitable at Outokumpu and can take advantage of placing new copper hedging in a measured way to mitigate any downside in copper price."

Altona is also looking for funding partners for its other core asset, the Roseby copper project near Mt Isa in Queensland.

The company has already secured all necessary approvals for the project, along with a definitive feasibility study that shows it can be viable based on initial annual production forecasts of 38,800 tonnes of copper and 17,000 ounces of gold from the Little Eva open pit mine and concentrator for a minimum 11-year minelife.

Altona shares were up half a cent, or 3.23 per cent, to 16 cents at 11.15am.

The West Australian

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