IGO refines growth strategy amid executive shake up


The Nova operation in Western Australia. Image: Independence Group

IGO is building on its clean energy metals strategy by focussing on expanding exploration for metals such as copper and nickel.

During the company’s annual general meeting on November 18, company managing director and chief executive Peter Bradford outlined the company’s emphasis on finding “the copper and nickel mines of the future” under its exploration strategy.

“We believe that the focus on climate change and transition to clean energy will have a transformational disruptive impact on those metals that are critical to enabling it,” Bradford said.

“We further believe that this disruption will positively impact our industry over the coming decades.”

The company continues to explore new deposits that show magmatic nickel sulphide styles similar to those at Nova and high value sediment copper style deposits.

These styles are more likely to deliver high-value future assets in alignment with IGO’s clean energy metals focus.

“We select terranes prospective for our preferred deposit styles following a rigorous review of opportunities using proprietary prospectivity tools and science,” Bradford explained.

“We have an outstanding exploration portfolio focussed on nickel and copper discovery. We also have a best in class exploration team applying the best science available and which has access to the funding required to unlock discovery.”

This growth began in the 2020 financial year for IGO, which exceeded guidance for all metals for the second consecutive financial year at its main nickel, copper and cobalt asset, the Nova mine in Western Australia.

IGO produced 30,436 tonnes of nickel for the 2020 financial year, beating the 27,000 to 30,000 tonne guidance and 13,772 tonnes of copper, surpassing the 11,000 to 12,500 goal.

In late 2019, IGO with energy partner Zenith Energy began the development and commissioning of the Nova solar farm, which will reduce the carbon footprint associated with operating the Nova mine.

“Through this project, we are walking our talk to be proactively green,” Bradford said.

“This project reduces Nova’s carbon footprint contributing to Nova being one of the lowest carbon intensity nickel producers while also providing a natural hedge to our energy costs.”

IGO with its JV partner AngloGold Ashanti completed the Boston Shaker mine growth at the Tropicana gold mine in Western Australia, making it the first underground mine at the site.

The JV commenced commercial production this September and expects the mine to be fully ramped up by March 2021, at which point it is expected to produce 1.1 million tonnes per annum of ore for gold production.

The AGM was managing director and chair Peter Bilbe’s last in the role, as he is set to retire after 10 years at the company’s helm.

He also highlighted the achievements of recently resigned company director Neil Warburton.

“It has been an honour to have been a director and chair over the last 10 years,” Bilbe said.

“I am very grateful to my fellow board members and all the team at IGO. Thank you for making my time at IGO such a rich and rewarding experience.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Neil Warburton, who recently resigned as a director. (Warburton) made a considerable contribution to IGO during his time and we wish him well in his future endeavours.”

To keep up to date with Australian Mining, subscribe to our free email newsletters delivered straight to your inbox. Click here.