Independence unveils Nova nickel operation

Independence Group (IGO) has officially opened the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt operation in Western Australia.

Commercial production was reached at Nova five years after its discovery. The operation, 160km from Norseman, is expected to reach nameplate capacity 12 months earlier than what was outlined in the project’s bankable feasibility study.

Independence chief executive Peter Bradford said reaching these milestones was an outstanding achievement.

“Today (last Friday), Nova is our flagship asset and represents the type of operation that IGO wants in its portfolio – a quality asset that is high margin, with scale and a long mining life, which anchors our presence in the Fraser Range where we are actively exploring to find the next Nova,” Bradford added.

Nova, a fly-in, fly-out (FIFO) operation, employs around 400 people – a combination of Independence employees, contractors and subcontractors.

Independence advocates the employment of people from the local community, with 21 people of Ngadju indigenous heritage employed at Nova and 12 Ngadju students receiving trainee scholarships in the 2017 financial year.

The company became owner of Nova in September 2015 following the acquisition of Sirius Resources.

Development of Nova was launched in January 2015, followed by underground mining in May 2015.

First nickel ore concentrate was achieved in October 2016 and commercial production launched in July 2017. Nova is currently ramping up to full nameplate capacity of approximately 125,000 tonnes of nickel per month.