Why did the Western Areas (ASX:WSA) share price just hit an 18-month high?

It’s a good day to be a Western Areas shareholder.

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After a week of generally strong performance, the Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) share price has reached its highest point in nearly 2 years.

The nickel producer’s stock has been gaining nearly every session since last Thursday, clocking up an extra 11.7% of value in that time.

As a result, the Western Areas share price reached a high of $3.33 in intraday trade today – the highest it’s been since the end of October 2019.

At the time of writing, it has dropped to trade at $3.28. Though, that’s still 2.34% higher than its previous close.

So, what might have spurred Western Areas’ stock to soar to long-forgotten heights? Let’s take a look.

Western Areas looks to the future

The reason behind the Western Areas share price’s recent surge is a mystery. However, the company did release its non-price sensitive annual report this afternoon.

In its annual report, the company’s leaders reminisced on financial year 2021 – a year in which Western Areas struggled against COVID-19 and lessening production at its Forrestania operations.

Forrestania is now a maturing operation and it brought in lower grades of nickel in financial year 2021. In fact, relative to financial year 2020, nickel production at Forrestania was down 23%.

The company has since implemented a turnaround strategy which has resulted in a rebound of performance.

Additionally, Western Areas’ Odysseus Mine is fully funded and its development is progressing on schedule.

Odysseus’ maiden production is expected in financial year 2023, in line with an expected global shortage of nickel.

The annual report likely didn’t move Western Areas’ shares today, but it might have boosted confidence in the company’s future.

Western Areas share price snapshot

It goes without saying, the Western Areas share price has been performing well on the ASX lately.

It has gained 21% since the start of 2021. It’s also 46% higher than it was this time last year.

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

Before you consider Western Areas, you'll want to hear this.

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Motley Fool contributor Brooke Cooper 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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