PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified miner Independence Group has reported record revenue and underlying earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (Ebitda) for the 2018 financial year, as the Nova nickel operation delivered its first full year of production.
Revenue for the year increased from A$422-million in 2017, to A$781-million in the year ended June 30, while underlying Ebitda reached A$339-million, up from the A$151-million in the previous financial year.
Net profit after tax increased from A$17-million to A$53-million.
“The 2018 financial year was a successful year for Independence. Nova delivered its first full year of production during which we demonstrated the capability to sprint at 20% above nameplate capacity both underground and through the processing plant,” said Independence MD and CEO Peter Bradford.
“We also completed grade control drilling of the entire known resource at Nova-Bollinger in July 2018, delivering improved geological understanding and greater certainty. Tropicana and Long both delivered solid results,” Bradford said.
The Nova operation produced 22 258 t of contained nickel metal and 9 545 t of contained copper metal in the full year, while the Tropicana gold mine produced 467 100 oz of gold, with Independence’s 30% share amounting to 138 700 oz.
The Jaguar mine produced 27 159 t of zinc in concentrate and 1 695 t of copper in concentrate, while Long produced 5 855 t of nickel, in the 12 months under review.
Independence on Wednesday reported that underlying free cash flow for the group reached A$138-million in the full year, from a negative A$113-million in 2017, with the Nova operation contributing A$93-million.
“We enter the 2019 financial year with a strong balance sheet, strong free cash flow generation, a strong portfolio with a robust mix of high quality production assets and belt scale exploration projects with the potential to deliver multiple tier-one discoveries,” Bradford said.
“Our focus now is on unlocking additional value from both Nova and Tropicana through ongoing enhancement projects and delivering step change growth through exploration and discovery, downstream processing to produce nickel sulphate, and the expansion of the portfolio to become a globally relevant supplier of metals critical to the energy storage and electric vehicle market.”
Looking ahead, the Nova project is expected to deliver between 27 000 t and 30 000 t of nickel in concentrate, between 11 000 t and 12 500 t of copper in concentrate, and between 850 t and 950 t of cobalt in concentrate for the 2019 financial year, while Tropicana is expected to deliver between 500 000 oz and 550 000 oz for the full year, with Independence’s share amounting to between 150 000 oz and 165 000 oz.