Shares in gold miner Independence Group are on a tear

Larry Busacca/Getty Images for SPDR Gold Trust – Bank of New York

Shares in Independence Group, which has three mines in Western Australia, jumped higher in early trade.

At the close, they were up 9.5% to $3.26, pushing the miner and explorer to a market capitalisation of $1.6 billion.

There was no official announcement to explain the rise but Peter Bradford, the CEO, did make a presentation to the Euroz Securities Institutional Conference.

And there have been unconfirmed reports of takeover interest centred around Independence Group’s 30% holding in the Tropicana gold mine east of Kalgoorlie. AngloGold Ashanti has the rest of the mine.

The open pit mine is one of Australia’s lowest cost producers of gold with a cash cost of $675 an ounce, according to 2016 forecasts. The precious metal is currently trading at $US1,254.

In its latest half year results, Independence reported a 20% drop in revenue to $220.2 million and a loss of $78.0 million, after spending $66.9 million on an acquisition and booking a $35.5 million impairment on exploration assets.

Mark Creasy, one the Australia’s most successful prospectors, is the biggest shareholder in Independence with 18.8%.

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