Nova celebrates milestone
INDEPENDENCE Group (IGO) has entered commercial production at its wholly owned Nova nickel-copper-cobalt project in WA, five years after its discovery.
In September, IGO celebrated the milestone with an official opening ceremony on site, attended by almost 200 people including State and regional government representatives, traditional land owners, contractors, investors, and employees.
Nova’s opening marks IGO’s fourth producing operation, and will be one of the lowest-cost nickel mines in Australia, with an initial mine life of 10 years.
IGO inherited the project back in September 2015 during its $1.8 billion takeover of Sirius Resources, and has since invested $456m in construction and development costs, including the construction of a 1.5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) underground mine and 1.5mtpa processing plant.
In FY18, the company expects Nova to produce between 23,000t and 27,000t nickel, between 10,000t and 12,000t copper and between 800t and 1050t cobalt contained in concentrate.
IGO managing director and chief executive Peter Bradford said the opening was an “outstanding milestone” with the project expected to reach its nameplate capacity of 125,000 tonnes per month a year earlier than expected in its bankable feasibility study.
“I would like to thank the many contributors to the exploration and development of Nova and to reiterate IGO’s commitment to delivering long term value to all our stakeholders, especially our local communities,” Mr Bradford said.
“Our people, whether employed directly by IGO or our contractor partners, are the lifeblood of IGO and it is through their focus, commitment and hard work that Nova has been delivered to commercial production within five years of when the Sirius exploration team, led by
“Today, 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.”
Mark Bennett, drilled that now-famous discovery hole back in July 2012.
“Today, 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.”
WA Mines and Petroleum minister Bill Johnston congratulated the company on its achievement.
“We are proud to have played a part in successfully bringing the project to life, the first diamond drill hole at Nova received co-funding from the Exploration Incentive Scheme,” Mr Johnston said.
“Production commencing at Nova is excellent news for the mining sector, especially as this is the first mine of its scale in the highly prospective Fraser Range.”
Nova is IGO’s fourth producing operation, and will be one of the lowest-cost nickel mines in Australia.
L-R: Peter Bradford (MD and CEO), Peter Bilbe (Non-Executive Chairman), Hon. Bill Johnston, Chris Carr (General Manager).