IGO has exceeded full-year production guidance for all metals at the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine in Western Australia, despite challenges caused by bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fraser Range mine produced 30,436 tonnes of nickel, 13,772 tonnes of copper and 1,142 tonnes of cobalt during the 2020 financial year.
While nickel production was slightly higher than the top end of guidance for the year, copper and cobalt productions were 10 per cent and 20 per cent higher, respectively.
IGO’s other operation in Western Australia, the Tropicana Gold joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti, also ended the financial year within production guidance.
Tropicana, which is 30 per cent owned by IGO and 70 per cent owned and managed by AngloGold Ashanti, produced 463,118 ounces of gold during the financial year, falling within the 450,000-500,000 guidance.
Gold sold by IGO from Tropicana during the year was 141,169 ounces, based on its 30 per cent share.
IGO managing director and chief executive Peter Bradford said he was proud of the company’s performance during the challenging year.
“FY20 was a year of unique challenges including devastating bushfires and the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout, the company has demonstrated outstanding resilience and adaptability which achieving excellent operational performance,” he said.
Bradford said lower milled grades from Tropicana was a result of the company’s transition into treatment of stockpiled ore at the mine.
“Stockpiled ore will continue to be a significant source of ore through FY 2021,” he said.
IGO expects to be supplementing the FY2021 production with run of mine ore from the Boston Shaker open pit and a new underground mine – which remains on schedule to reach commercial production during the September 2020 quarter.
Complementing this would be the Havana open pit, where stage two cutback development is underway.
Located 330 kilometres east-north-east of Kalgoorlie, Tropicana has an estimated gold reserve of 67.7 million tonnes grading 1.77 grams/tonne for 3.74 million ounces of contained gold.