Independence Group revises mining plan at Kambalda’s Long Operation in Australia

8 September 2015 (Last Updated September 8th, 2015 18:30)

Australian mining company Independence Group (IGO) has implemented a revised mining plan at its wholly owned Long Operation in Kambalda and job cuts, amid a slump in commodity prices.

Australian mining company Independence Group (IGO) has implemented a revised mining plan at its wholly owned Long Operation in Kambalda and job cuts, amid a slump in commodity prices.

The company's latest decision will result in loss of 28 jobs at the mine and was taken in response to low nickel prices.

According to the company, future mining activities at the Long Operation will primarily concentrate on longhole stoping, with support from twin boom jumbo development.

There would also be the discontinuing of mechanised cut and fill, air-leg mining and single boom jumbo, which include other mining methods and activities.

"We deeply regret the impact that these changes will have on our people and it is a decision that has not been taken lightly."

With the implementation of these changes, the company is expecting a reduction in operating costs of between 11% and 13% at the mine.

Contained nickel production at the facility is expected to be from 8,500t to 9,000t for fiscal year 2016, while guidance for the year's sustaining capital expenditure and exploration expenditure have been reduced.

IGO managing director Peter Bradford said: "We deeply regret the impact that these changes will have on our people and it is a decision that has not been taken lightly.

"These steps were necessary in the current environment to ensure IGO continues to generate sustainable margins and returns on capital from the Long Operation."

In September 2002, the Long Operation was acquired by IGO from BHP Billiton Nickel West and was re-commissioned in October 2002. Since then, the company produced more than 2.9 million tonnes of nickel ore.