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IGO to ‘refresh strategy’ amid nickel downturn

igo nickel

Following challenges caused by weakening nickel and lithium prices, IGO has revealed its immediate priorities for the upcoming months to ensure future success.

In late January, the major miner announced that following a review into its Cosmos nickel mine in Western Australia, it would transition the site into care and maintenance.

The news followed IGO advising that it would see through the current slump in lithium prices but would reduce production at its Greenbushes lithium joint venture operation in WA.

Despite these challenges, IGO recorded $288.3 million in net profit after tax, $515 million in underlying earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, amortisation and impairment (EBITDA), and $433.5 million in underlying free cash flow for the first half of the 2023–24 financial year.

“Despite the commodity price headwinds we are facing, I am pleased to report on the continued cash generation of our nickel and lithium businesses and the underlying strength of our balance sheet,” IGO managing director and chief executive officer Ivan Vella said.

“Nine weeks into my role at IGO, I am developing a clearer view of what needs to be done for IGO to achieve success into the future.”

As IGO looks to refresh its strategy over the coming months, the company’s immediate priorities include:

  • enhancing safety culture and continuing to improve performance
  • actively supporting the team at Greenbushes to drive further efficiencies, productivity and leading operating performance, while providing greater visibility of financial performance and optimising joint venture structures
  • collaborating closely with its partner at the Kwinana Refinery to find a pathway to improved performance and a consistent ramp up
  • consistent and stable delivery of performance and cashflows from Nova and Forrestania
  • safely and diligently transitioning Cosmos into care and maintenance, while caring for our people who will impacted by this change
  • supporting our growth agenda while ensuring we appropriately manage costs.

“While we have faced some challenges in recent months, our business remains in a great position,” Vella said.

“The declaration of an 11¢ per share interim dividend today, in line with our capital management framework, reflects our strong underlying free cash flow and robust balance sheet position.

“This strength, combined with our asset portfolio, highly credentialed partners, and unique, purpose-led culture gives me great confidence in what IGO can achieve in the future.” 

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