IGO has increased quarterly production at the Nova mine in Western Australia, including record copper output, despite changes to its workforce due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Production for all metals at Nova exceeded IGO’s pro-rata 2020 financial year guidance, with 8019 tonnes of nickel, 3748 tonnes of copper and 303 tonnes of cobalt for the March quarter.
This was the highest quarterly production on record for copper and the second highest quarterly production for nickel, positioning Nova to deliver at or above the top end of its production guidance.
At the Tropicana gold mine however, production for the quarter was lower at 103,858 ounces, in line with the company’s expectations of lower grades and higher costs.
IGO expects Tropicana to still make the lower end of its guidance range of 337,500 to 375,000.
Tropicana celebrated reaching a significant three million-ounce production milestone during the March quarter, just six and a half years after the mine poured its first gold.
The company is operating without some of its interstate employees, as it was proactive in moving early to restrict international and interstate travel to its sites.
IGO has also supported some of its interstate employees in relocating to Perth temporarily, to ensure as little disruption to its workforce as possible.
The company also advanced underground development at Nova by 604 metres for the quarter, using one development crew.
It also continued diamond drilling at prospects around Nova, testing mafic-ultramafic interruptions, completing ten surface drill holes of 11,300 metres and four underground drill holes of 2600 metres.
Managing director and chief executive officer Peter Bradford said he is proud of the company’s response and safety measures taken to combat the coronavirus and of its teams continuing to deliver results during challenging times.
“Through the quarter, we together with all other Australians transitioned from a heightened oncern around bushfires to the emergence of a global pandemic,” Bradford said.
“Our team at IGO has proactively developed and implemented a response plan to contribute to slowing the rate of infection and safeguarding the health and wellbeing of the people in our business and the broader community.
“We have delivered a strong March quarter result, with production performance and disciplined cost control positioning IGO for a strong finish to the 2020 financial year.”