PERTH (miningweekly.com) – Diversified metals miner Independence Group has swung back into black during the full year ended June, with the miner reporting a net profit after tax of A$17-million, compared with a net loss after tax of A$58.8-million reported at the end of the 2016 financial year.
“Our financial and operating results for 2017 were strong with higher metal prices and strong performance at the Long and Tropicana [operations] offset by a mixed year for Jaguar,” said MD and CEO Peter Bradford on Wednesday.
“Both Long and Tropicana delivered production and cash costs within or better than guidance,” he added.
Revenue for the full year was up from the A$417-million reported in 2016 to A$422-million, while underlying earnings before interest, taxes, deprecation and amortisation was up from A$138-million to A$151-million.
Total revenue from the Long operation was up by 10%, to A$70.5-million, while revenue from Jaguar was up by 3% to A$137.5-million. The Tropicana gold mine saw a 1% decline in revenue during the full year, due to the cessation of grade streaming, which resulted in 7 263 fewer ounces of gold sold. This was, however, offset by a higher average gold price.
Meanwhile, Bradford pointed out that significant progress was also made at the Nova nickel project, with first concentrate produced in the December quarter.
“We expect Nova to ramp up to nameplate capacity in the September quarter, some 12 months earlier than envisaged in the definitive feasibility study,” he added.
At full production, Nova is expected to produce 26 000 t/y of contained nickel and 11 500 t/y of contained copper, at an all-in sustaining cost of A$1.83/lb. The project is expected to initially operate for ten years.
“With the development of Nova largely behind us, Independence is well positioned to deliver a great 2018 with a first full year of production from Nova, higher gold production and lower cash costs at Tropicana, due to grade streaming, and improved outlook for Jaguar.
“In parallel, we have increased our exploration spend in 2018 to leverage off the ground position that we have consolidated on the Fraser Range, near Nova, during 2017,” Bradford said.