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OZ Minerals Falls After Flagging Mine Writedown: Sydney Mover

OZ Minerals, Australia’s third-biggest copper producer, fell to its lowest in almost two weeks in Sydney trading after flagging a mine writedown of as much as A$240 million ($222 million).

Shares in the Melbourne-based producer declined 1.9 percent to A$4.05, its lowest since July 16. Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index was little changed.

OZ Minerals cited lower expected copper and gold prices for the writedown at its Prominent Hill project in South Australia. Copper has plunged about 14 percent this year on concern demand will weaken as the economy slows in China, the world’s top consumer of the metal used in pipes and wires.

“With the fact that copper prices are under a bit of pressure, it’s not surprising to see that kind of writedown,” said Evan Lucas, a Melbourne-based market strategist at IG Markets Ltd. “You would expect them to fall, and fall further.”

OZ Minerals had been among companies that made final bids for Rio Tinto Group’s Northparkes, a person with knowledge of the matter said July 16. China Molybdenum Co. has agreed to pay $820 million for Rio’s 80 percent stake in the Australian copper mine, the London-based company said today.

Evolution Mining Ltd., partly owned by Australia’s biggest gold mining company, also fell after flagging a mine asset writedown of as much as A$400 million. The stock declined 1.2 percent to 82.5 cents, and had earlier slipped as much as 6 percent. It has dropped 52 percent this year.

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