Tropicana production rises as IGO reviews stake

IGO holds a 30 per cent interest in the Tropicana joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti. Image: IGO

IGO has registered a jump in gold production at the Tropicana joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti in Western Australia amid a review of its stake in the mine.

Production in the September period climbed 5 per cent on the previous quarter to 107,060 ounces, however with a 6 per cent increase in all-in sustaining costs ($1527 an ounce).

Nevertheless, IGO benefitted from the rise in gold prices ($2295 an ounce) and higher sales (31,359 ounces) for the quarter.

The Boston Shaker underground mine at the JV project also reached 136,500 tonnes for 14,637 ounces of mined production since commercial production was declared in September.

IGO managing director Peter Bradford said the company had never been in a better financial position.

“(The Boston Shaker) project was delivered safely, on time and on budget and represented an important step in the continuing value maximisation of Tropicana,” he said.

“As with Nova, production and cost performance was consistent with our mine plan and in line with forward guidance.”

At the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine in Western Australia, IGO delivered a slight increase in production, with 1 per cent increase in nickel production and 2 per cent increase in copper output.

This was attributed to a continuing focus on cost discipline and production efficiencies.

“Our continued focus on safety, productivity and costs at Nova resulted in metal production and cash costs better than guidance which, combined with higher nickel prices during the quarter, resulted in Nova generating $91 million of free cash for the quarter, a near-record result,” Bradford said.

IGO expects both the Nova and Tropicana operations to hit the higher end of their production guidance in the first half of the 2021 fiscal year.

The company’s exploration activity in the Fraser Range, Kimberley and Paterson regions in Western Australia and the Northern Territory has returned to pre-COVID-19 levels.

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