Why the Western Areas (ASX:WSA) share price is racing 6% higher today

This mining share is ending the week strongly…

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The Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) share price has been a strong performer on Friday.

In afternoon trade, the nickel producer’s shares are up 6% to $2.55.

Why is the Western Areas share price rising?

Investors have been bidding the Western Areas share price higher today following the release of its fourth quarter update.

That update reveals that Western Areas finished FY 2021 in fine form. This includes delivering its strongest quarterly production of the financial year.

According to the release, the company produced 4,622 nickel tonnes in concentrate during the quarter. This was up 8% on the previous quarter and brought its full year nickel tonnes in concentrate production to 16,180 tonnes. This was in line with guidance.

Another positive supporting the Western Areas share price today was its costs and pricing update.

The release explains that the company’s cash cost was $3.84 per pound during the quarter and its average realised price was $10.42 per pound.

The former was the lowest quarterly cost per pound achieved during the year, helping Western Areas record a full year cash cost of $4.23 per pound. This was in line with its guidance. The company’s average price realised was $10.06 per pound for the year.

Management commentary

Western Areas’ Managing Director, Dan Lougher, was pleased with the significant momentum across all key projects and workstreams during the quarter. This was particularly the case for its Forrestania operation.

He said: “Our Forrestania operations have had their best quarter on both production and costs for the year, and delivered within updated guidance after overcoming some operational difficulties earlier in the financial year.”

Mr Lougher appears positive on the future. This is due to increasing demand for nickel from electric vehicle markets (EV).

“At Odysseus, our new long life mine continues to advance towards production of first ore in this September quarter, which will mark a very significant milestone in its expected 10 plus year mine life. Odysseus remains one of the few long dated supplies of nickel sulphide to enter the market in the coming years, as the EV market continues to drive nickel demand for delivery into the EV battery supply chain,” he added.

The Western Areas share price is down 6.5% year to date despite today’s gain.

Should you invest $1,000 in Western Areas right now?

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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