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Independence Group NL posts solid quarter: Is it a bargain?

Diversified base metals and gold miner, Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO), today announced yet another strong quarterly profit result after it said earlier in the month that it would meet or beat production guidance for the year.

Independence Group has a number of gold projects spread throughout the country as well as Zinc, Copper and Nickel operations.

During the three months through March 2015, Independence Group achieved an unaudited profit after tax of $19.8 million, down from $20.2 million in the same period a year ago.

Free cash flow, defined by the company as cash from operations minus investing activities, was an impressive $24.9 million for the quarter, up from $21.9 million last year.

With top quartile production efficiency at its Tropicana gold mine in Western Australia and enviable margins at the Long nickel operations, Independence Group’s cash balance continues to climb higher.

At 31 March 2015, the company’s cash and refined bullion stood at an impressive $109.8 million, whilst debt came in at just $1.1 million. This compares with $47 million of cash and $50.4 million of debt a year earlier.

Is it time to buy Independence Group?

Investors choosing to buy Independence Group shares must recognise it’s a capital intensive business. But whilst the big step-change in the company’s production profile has likely occurred, I continue to prefer it over other ASX-listed miners like OZ Minerals Limited (ASX: OZL) and Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA).

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Motley Fool contributor Owen Raskiewicz has no position in any stocks mentioned. Owen welcomes your feedback on Google plus (see below) or you can follow him on Twitter @ASXinvest.

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.