PRESS RELEASE: The Fraser Range mine, located outside Norseman at the edge of Nullarbor, came online Friday with a ceremony attended by more than 200 regulators, customers, investors, suppliers and others.
Nova’s fast track to opening will not end now; IGO officials noted that it is expected the mine will reach its nameplate capacity of 125,000 tonnes per month quickly – about a year earlier than outlined in the project’s feasibility study.
The miner has offered guidance for Nova’s production next financial year to be 23,000-27,000t nickel, 10,000-12,000t copper and 800-1,050t cobalt (in concentrate), which would make the operation the lowest-cost nickel mine in Australia.
Additionally, 100% of the high-grade nickel concentrate produced is currently sold to BHP Billiton Nickel West and Glencore under an offtake agreement. All of its copper concentrate is sold to Trafigura. Also under an offtake agreement.
“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,” IGO CEO and managing director Peter Bradford said of the mine, which will operate as a FIFO with a staff of 400 employees and contractors.
IGO had a A$456 million investment in Nova’s construction and development costs at Nova, the company’s fourth operation. Its sister mines in Western Australia include the Jaguar copper-zinc mine (also IGO 100%), the Long nickel mine (IGO 100%) and the Tropicana gold joint venture with AngloGold Ashanti (IGO 30%).