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Diversified miner South32 says record aluminium prices helped it end its third quarter to end-March with a net cash pile, even though it paid out its highest-ever dividend during the period, while also forking out $1.4bn (R22bn) for a stake in a copper mine in Chile.

The group, which recently paid out a record $404m in dividends for its half-year to end-December, said it ended its March quarter with $52m in net cash, from almost $1bn at its half-year. It has, however, now reported its first production of copper, having picked up a 45% stake in the Sierra Gorda copper mine in Chile...

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