AUSTRALIAN miner Independence Group soared ahead of production guidance at its three main operations for the second half of 2014, putting it on track for a strong financial year despite lower commodity prices.

The WA-focused gold and nickel miner announced it had exceeded guidance at its Tropicana gold operation, Long nickel operation and Jaguar copper-zinc mine for the half-year to December 2014. Tropicana produced 257,543oz of gold in the half-year, more than 10,000oz ahead of guidance, of which Independence took a 30 per cent share (77,263oz).

At Long, the group produced 5135t of nickel during the period, while Jaguar produced 25,126t of zinc in concentrate and 4807t of copper in concentrate.

Independence managing director Peter Bradford said the three operations were maintaining good and steady production.

“We are especially pleased that all the operations are ahead of guidance for the half year on a pro-rata basis, which has resulted in our cash at bank increasing to $93 million at the end of the quarter,” he said.

The Jaguar processing plant was expected to shut down for three weeks in January for planned maintenance.