Independence Group targets discoveries to build on mine portfolio

The Nova operation. Image: IGO.

Independence Group (IGO) is enjoying robust nickel and gold prices following a year of record figures, according to managing director Peter Bradford.

These favourable prices, together with IGO’s production of low cost, high grade products, put the company in a solid position for the year ahead, he added.

Its Nova nickel-copper mine in Western Australia delivered an “outstanding” second year of commercial production that exceeded the 2019 financial year production guidance.

The operation in fact brought IGO to a record $793 million in revenue during the 2019 period, outperforming the prior year result of $781 million.

IGO expects to produce 28,500 nickel, 11,750 tonnes copper and 900 tonnes cobalt at a cash cost of $2.25 a pound payable nickel at the Nova mine.

“Most importantly, at Nova, our work has demonstrated that the search space, of favourable geology, is far greater than originally apparent, and consequently we have increased the Nova exploration budget for the 2020 financial year to accelerate drilling,” Bradford said.

IGO has accelerated its efforts to find more nickel, copper and cobalt in response to the global shift to clean energy and electric vehicles.

The company has budgeted $66 million for exploration and $7 million in evaluation expenditure for the 2020 financial year.

Its Tropicana joint venture (JV) with AngloGold Ashanti in Western Australia also demonstrated a strong performance, “comfortably” meeting production guidance driven by higher throughput, grade and a higher realised gold price.

Tropicana is expected to produce 475,000 ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of $1150 an ounce of gold sold in the 2020 financial year.

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