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Jobs uncertain at IGO’s troubled nickel assets

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IGO has halted construction works at its troubled Cosmos nickel project as the company puts the operation under the microscope.

The company came into ownership of the Cosmos and Forrestania nickel projects when it acquired Western Areas in June 2022 for $1.3 billion.

However, the realisation of those assets has not been smooth for IGO. A slew of unexpected issues saw the new owner  slash $880–980 million off the value of the projects in its 2022 – 2023 financial year report.

“The impairment relates to the reassessment of the accounting value at Cosmos and Forrestania to reflect higher capital and operating costs, challenges to the mine production schedule and delays in development at Cosmos,” IGO said in July.

Now IGO is in the midst of a review into the Cosmos project, which it considers a challenging but important asset to its long-term nickel aspirations. The review is understood to be aimed at identifying the risks and opportunities to the life of mine plan, capital cost estimates and schedule, bearing in mind the challenges faced during the development phase.

While the review is ongoing, IGO has halted construction of a planned conveyor system and switched to ore trucking in the interim.

“Regretfully, there will be an impact to some roles, however IGO is working on redeployments within the IGO business and is providing all the necessary support to our people through this process,” the company said.

The Cosmos project is understood to have around 200 workers on site at a time.

IGO said that it is likely to further slash the value of Cosmos, suggesting an uncertain future for workers.

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