OZ Minerals Gains on Dividend, Outlook for Copper: Sydney Mover

OZ Minerals Ltd., Australia’s third-biggest copper producer, rose to a three week high in Sydney on the outlook for metal demand and after announcing a higher-than-expected dividend.

The stock added 3.6 percent to A$7.47, the highest since Jan. 21, at the close of trading. The Melbourne-based company will pay a second-half dividend of 20 Australian cents per share, taking the full-year payout to 30 cents a share, it said today. That is double the average estimate of four analysts for the second-half dividend, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

OZ Minerals also extended the life of its Ankata mine at Prominent Hill in South Australia by two years to 2019 and forecast “robust” demand for copper from China and the U.S. that Chief Executive Officer Terry Burgess said would boost copper to the higher end of the $3 to $4 a pound range in 2013.

“The dividend is above the expectations so that was quite good and the extension of the mine life at Prominent Hill is a catalyst,” Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG Markets Ltd. said by phone from Melbourne.

OZ Minerals also reported today 2012 net income of A$152 million ($157 million), in line with the average estimate of A$156 million from 22 analysts, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

Copper for March delivery was at $3.7510 a pound in New York as of 4:27 p.m. Melbourne time. The metal has gained 2.7 percent this year.