Copper miner Sandfire Resources has reported a $78.2 million profit - down $9.8 million from the previous year - but rewarded shareholders with a maiden dividend of 10 cents per share.
In its annual report out this morning, the company revealed all-round earnings across the business were down, with the company attributing the slight drop in profit to the impact of a delayed shipment completed of ore and lower copper prices.
It also attributed the fall to the completion of toll treatment campaign during the year.
The DeGrussa mine - 50km north of Meekatharra - generated earnings before net finance and income tax of $168.6 million - down from $194.5 million in the previous year.
Analysts have long questioned whether the company is reaching its nameplate production rates at DeGrussa, however Sandfire managing director Karl Simich said today's result reflected "another strong operational and financial performance by the (mine)".
"The DeGrussa operation delivered an impressive year of strong, low-cost, high-margin production, with both the underground mine and concentrator maintaining the nameplate 1.5 million tonnes per annum production rate," he said.
"When these factors are taken into account, together with a lower copper price and persistently high Australian Dollar exchange rate, the result was impressive and clearly reflects the financial strength of the DeGrussa operation."
Mr Simich said he was particularly pleased to be able to offer shareholders a dividend.
"Declaring our maiden dividend marks another big milestone in the Sandfire story, coming just over five years after the discovery of DeGrussa and less than a year after successfully completing the ramp-up of commercial production."
Sandfire shares were down 1 cent to $6.36 a share in early trade.