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Feb 2003 - Independence Gold

Independence Gold NL (IGO) – Long Nickel Mine Acquisition Could be Significantly Profitable for IGO

  • IGO’s wholly owned subsidiary Lightning Nickel Pty Ltd bought WMC’s Long/Victor nickel mine for $15m on 17 Sep 2002. This was based on IGO’s estimated return of $60m in after tax cashflow, from producing 27,000t of nickel over 5 years (treating 750,000t of 3.6%Ni ore reserves at 150,000tpa) and receiving a nickel price of US$3.15/lb (US$6950/t), and an A$ exchange rate of US55c.
  • IGO ramped up beyond their targeted production rate of 12,500tpm (150,000tpa) inonly 3 months (by January 2003), and are also achieving 10% to 15% highergrades than expected of >4% nickel (due so far to less dilution than expected).
  • Long’s life appears likely to be at least 7 years all probably at greater than an average annual grade of 4%Ni. This is based on our site visit observation of progress to date, the driving towards Gibb South and new extensions there, probably a favourable decision on Victor South in 2003, the current mining rate of 34% in resources (outside of reserves) and additional remnant mining,
  • The geology appears to be so complex that it is virtually impossible to put strike limits on the orebodies, resulting in a strong probability of extensions to them within the lava channels. There also appears to be at least 3 possibilities of finding new unmined orebodies : either within the existing channels, below the Long lava channel, or there could be a link between the Durkin orebody (to the northwest) and Long as shown in figure 6 on page 4.
  • Written by: Keith Goode
  • Monday, 10 February 2003

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