Joint venture partners AngloGold Ashanti and IGO are targeting first production at the Boston Shaker underground gold mine at the Tropicana operation in Western Australia this quarter.
The Boston Shaker mine is set to improve Tropicana’s production and mine life, which reached its annual production guidance by producing 463,118 ounces of gold in the 2020 financial year.
IGO stated that development of the Boston Shaker mine had continued to progress on time and on budget.
“This underground material will displace lower grade open pit material, resulting in an improved production profile and extend the overall mine life at Tropicana,” IGO stated in its annual report 2020.
IGO owns a 30 per cent stake at Tropicana, with AngloGold Ashanti holding the remaining 70 per cent. The operation has four contiguous open pits including Tropicana, Boston Shaker, Havana and Havana South.
The JV has now directed its exploration interest to studying the viability of additional underground mines beneath the Tropicana, Havana and Havana South pits.
Future greenfield and brownfields exploration will be conducted on a $9 million budget in the 2021 financial year.
IGO has continued to advance its mineral exploration activity after facing a number of delays in 2020 due to severe weather conditions and COVID-19 travel restrictions.
“Our team had a busy and successful year, however severe weather over the summer months, including bushfires and heavy rain, delayed the commencement of some of our work programs,” IGO stated.
A high level of drilling activity at the Fraser Range project in Western Australia is scheduled to commence in the 2021 financial year as the company hopes to find deposits that mimic those at the Nova Operation.
“Looking ahead to (the 2021 financial year), IGO will continue to focus on methodically testing the best targets, systematic geological evaluation of the Fraser Range; and building in-house specialised knowledge to drive discovery,” IGO stated.
The company enjoyed a strong 2020 financial year overall, with the Nova operation’s production surpassing its guidance, producing 30,436 tonnes of nickel and 13,772 tonnes of copper.
The companies revenue ($892 million) and profit after tax ($155 million) also saw significant increases.
“Despite the global challenges we are all facing, IGO is in a very strong position,” IGO chairman Peter Bilbe and managing director and chief executive officer Peter Bradford said in a joint message.
“The success of our business is a direct reflection of our culture and the level of engagement our people have with what we are aiming to achieve.”