The West

Operations at Pardoo.
Operations at Pardoo.

UPDATE 2.15pm: Atlas Iron says it remains on track to meet full-year production and cash-cost guidance after overcoming the impacts of inclement weather to ship a further 2.73 million tonnes during the March quarter.

Atlas managing director Ken Brinsden said the company had exceeded the shipment record set in the previous quarter, despite the tail end of Cyclone Christine in January and other heavy rain days.

"As a result, Atlas has shipped more ore in the nine months to March than it did throughout the previous financial year," he said.

"With Atlas' Wodgina and Abydos mines performing consistently, we remain confident of meeting our production guidance for the year."

The company is targeting production guidance of 10.2-10.7 million tonnes shipped, with hopes of coming in at the upper end of the range.

Mr Brinsden said the Mt Webber project was progressing well, with stage one set to commence haulage during the June 2014 quarter, and stage two on track to further increase overall North Pilbara production despite the scaling down of Mt Dove and Pardoo contributions.

Atlas had $372 million cash on hand at the end of March after $102 million was invested in growth projects, with a large portion of those funds contributing to progress at the Mt Webber and Abydos projects.

"Importantly, we will be progressively reducing our capital spend during the rest of this calendar year as we finalise completion of our Horizon I projects," Mr Brinsden said.

"This will enable us to retain more of the cash flows from our growing production profile."

Mr Brinsden said senior Atlas representatives had recently visited China, reaffirming the company's confidence in the long-term growth outlook for China's economy and ongoing resources demand.

"We have developed strong and reliable relationships with our customers, and through our dialogue with them, we remain confident about China's ongoing demand for seaborne traded iron ore, for the long term," he said.

Atlas shares closed up two cents, or 2.09 per cent, at 97.5 cents.

The West Australian

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