Australian-based miner OZ Minerals has reported a A$580.7m loss for the first six months of 2009 because of a one-off asset sale loss and lower commodity prices.

The company sold the majority of it assets to Chinese firm Minmetals for A$1.73bn and its Martabe project in Indonesia to China Sci-Tech Holdings for A$263m.

The funds from the sale were used to pay down a severe debt load that was threatening to put the company into administration, The Australian reports.

The company retained its Prominent Hill project, which realised a net profit before tax of $19.4m after operations formally commenced on 1 May.

Copper and zinc were the main contributors to the revenue during the period and while all operations performed well, lower commodity prices resulted in lower revenues, the company said.

Oz minerals had a cash balance of A$1bn as of 30 June and debt in the form of convertible bonds with a face value of $105m.