IGO production shoots up despite WA bushfires

The Nova operation in Western Australia. Image: Independence Group

Independence Group (IGO) has felt the impacts of the significant bushfires in the Shires of Dundas and Esperance in Western Australia on the Nova mine.

The fires have disrupted routine deliveries of supplies and haulage of concentrate from the Nova site as the Eyre Highway and Coolgardie-Esperance Highway remained closed.

The bushfire activity, however, did not impact IGO’s production for the second quarter of the 2020 financial year.

IGO has maintained a strong performance at the nickel-copper-cobalt mine, sending production beyond its guidance range for the 2020 financial year.

The company produced 15,236 tonnes of nickel, 6779 tonnes of copper and 561 tonnes of cobalt during the period.

This beat IGO’s pro-rata adjusted guidance range of 13,500–15,000 tonnes of nickel, 5500–6250 tonnes of copper and 425–475 tonnes of cobalt.

The bushfire activity also posed no threat to IGO’s workers or infrastructure at Nova.

IGO also does not expect the thermal event to materially impact Nova’s result for the current quarter.

The company replicated the same operational success it achieved at Nova at the Tropicana joint venture (JV) with AngloGold Ashanti.

IGO produced 257,252 ounces of gold and sold 77,550 ounces at Tropicana, exceeding the year-to-date guidance range of 225,000–250,000 ounces and 67,500–75,000 ounces respectively.

“Production at Nova and Tropicana beat guidance in the December quarter and the first half of the 2020 financial year, reflecting the quality of both operations and the dedication and focus of the Nova and Tropicana teams,” IGO managing director Peter Bradford said.

“Looking ahead to the second half of the 2020 financial year, we are expecting Nova to maintain performance in line with guidance as we continue to focus on delivering cost improvements and continuous improvement of operational efficiencies.”

IGO also expects to produce within guidance for the year at Tropicana. The company projected a lower gold production in the remaining half of the 2020 financial year in line with the mine plan.

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