The Nova deposit was discovered in July 2012 and development commenced in January 2015. Commercial production commenced in July 2017 and the operation reached nameplate production in the September 2017 quarter. The operation has been in commercial production since 1 July 2017 with the mine and processing plant achieving production rates at or above nameplate capacity in the second half of FY18.
The Nova-Bollinger magmatic nickel-copper deposits are hosted within the lower granulite facies mafic rocks of the Fraser Zone of the Albany-Fraser Orogen. The Fraser Zone is dominated by metamorphosed mafic rocks but also includes metamorphosed granitic and sedimentary rocks termed the Fraser Range Domain. Much of the northern part of the Fraser Range Domain is obscured by younger rocks of the Eucla Basin, however it is interpreted that this domain is approximately 425km long, northeast trending, fault-bounded domain that is up to 50km wide.
The host rocks of the Nova-Bollinger deposit consist of a suite of meta-gabbroic to meta-picrite cumulates which have been metamorphosed to a high metamorphic grade. These units are interpreted to have been emplaced as a layered sill in an extensional sedimentary basis. The deposit is situated on the north-western side of an eye-like structural feature which is best seen in regional and ground magnetics.
The nickel-copper mineralisation is interpreted to have formed initially as a typical magmatic segregation Ni-Cu deposit. The sulphide assemblage of the ore mineralogy consists of pyrrhotite (~80-85%), pentlandite (~10-15%) and chalcopyrite (5-10%). This style of deposit has many features in common with various aspects of Canadian deposits such as Thompson, Raglan and Voisey’s Bay.
In its first full year of production in FY18, Nova achieved total production of 22,258 tonnes of nickel and 9,545 tonnes of copper at a cash cost of A$2.78/lb Ni.
Nickel: 27,000 to 30,000 tonnes
Copper: 11,000 to 12,500 tonnes
Cobalt: 850 to 950 tonnes
Cash Costs (payable)
A$1.65 to A$2.00/lb Ni
IGO’s guidance contains forward-looking statements including, but not limited to, assumptions made for future commodity prices, foreign exchange rates, costs and mine scheduling. Achievement of guidance is dependent on meeting target assumptions. Full year guidance ranges reflect an average of the expected outcome for the year, and Quarter on Quarter results can vary significantly from annual guidance.
Near Mine Exploration
In FY19 further underground exploration drilling will target resource extensions and new areas of mineralisation outside the existing resource envelope. A 3D seismic survey of 58km2 was completed by HiSeis Pty Ltd last year and the models will be interpreted in FY19. A budgeted 20,000 metres of diamond drilling is planned for FY19 to test targets identified by the seismic survey.