Independence Group (IGO) released March Q results with record production from its Nova Nickel/Copper mine. Nova produced 8.4kt Ni and 3.7kt Cu (up 11% and 7% respectively QoQ) at a total cash cost of A$1.50/lb (down 23% QoQ). Tropicana (30% IGO) recorded record mill throughput, but gold produced was down 10% to 123.2koz (100% basis), due to a lower head grade. Underlying free cashflow for the quarter was $89m, which saw net cash increase to $172m (vs $94m at 31 December) after a $28.6m debt repayment and a $12m dividend return. Underlying EBITDA was $117m and unaudited NPAT was $45m. After a phase of intensive target generation in both the Fraser Range and Lake McKay regions, IGO has commenced an aggressive drilling campaign with high potential for both brownfield and greenfield base metal discoveries. Upgraded to BUY (from HOLD).
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