The shares of Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO) have dropped sharply today after the diversified gold and nickel miner released its financial results to the market.

The market clearly wasn’t impressed with Independence Group reporting a 16% drop in revenue to $417 million and a net loss after tax of $58.8 million. Consequently its shares are around 5% lower at $3.63 today.

It is worth pointing out that the loss was impacted by expensing of after tax business acquisition costs of $64 million and after tax exploration asset impairment losses of $24.9 million.

Net cash flows from operating activities came in at $95.2 million and the miner finished the year with a healthy cash balance of $46.3 million.

Commenting on the results Independence Group Managing Director and CEO Peter Bradford stated:

“FY16 has been about the creation of the future platform of growth for the Company at the bottom of the market cycle, while achieving sustainable and profitable cash flow from our production assets. This growth will be delivered from our two key assets being Nova and Tropicana.”

The development of its Nova Project in Western Australia is almost complete and the miner is expected to produce its first concentrates on time and on budget in December.

Its 30% stake in the Tropicana gold mine on the other hand continues to produce the goods. Not only did the key asset deliver strong operating profit before tax of $64 million this year, management is confident in the potential to drive a step change to the value of the asset with its Long Island study.

Management revealed that an extensive resource extension drilling program to provide a framework for the understanding of the Tropicana mineralised system was completed during FY 2016. The drilling has returned encouraging results, which it believes highlights the potential of the Tropicana mineralised system. It has advised that a further update on the mine is scheduled for the September 2016 quarter.

As well as its disappointing full year performance, a broad sell off of Australia’s gold producers will no doubt be partly to blame for the dip in Independence Group’s share price today. Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM), Resolute Mining Limited (ASX: RSG), and St Barbara Ltd (ASX: SBM) have also dropped significantly following a drop in the gold price.

Should you buy the dip? Personally I would stay away from the sector right now. A strong reading on the US non-farm payroll release on Friday could give the US Federal Reserve the green light to raise interest rates at its next meeting in September. I believe this could drive the price of gold down even lower, dragging the gold producers along with it unfortunately.

These three new breed blue chips could prove to be far better investments if you ask me. Each has strong earnings and dividend growth prospects and could bolt higher in the next few months in my opinion.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.