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OZ Minerals Copper Output Rises, Beating Analysts’ Estimates

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April 26 (Bloomberg) -- OZ Minerals Ltd., the third-biggest Australian copper producer by market value, said first-quarter output increased, exceeding analysts’ estimates.

Copper production rose to 27,182 metric tons from 25,708 tons a year earlier, the Melbourne-based company said today in a statement. Gold output fell to 38,887 ounces from 41,911 ounces. The results compare with median estimates of 26,000 tons of copper and 35,000 ounces of gold from three analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.

The company had a “solid start, delivering at the top end of annualized production guidance and within forecast costs,” Michael Slifirski and Sam Webb, analysts at Credit Suisse Group, said in a report today. The “March quarter was better than expected.”

OZ Minerals retained its full-year estimates of 100,000 tons to 110,000 tons for copper this year and 130,000 ounces to 150,000 ounces for gold output. Copper, used in wiring and tubes, is the company’s biggest revenue contributor, accounting for 73 percent of sales in 2011.

The company expects to see more acquisition opportunities and is “actively looking” to buy assets globally, including in Chile and Peru, Chief Executive Officer Terry Burgess said in a media call.

The shares ended unchanged at A$9.42 in Sydney trading. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.3 percent.

“Copper and gold production are on track to meet 2012 guidance” with a strong operating performance at the Prominent Hill mine in South Australia, OZ Minerals said in the statement today.

To contact the reporter on this story: Soraya Permatasari in Melbourne at soraya@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Keenan at rkeenan5@bloomberg.net; Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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