Iamgold (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG) updated its reserves and resources to the end of last year with a total of 45.1 million oz. gold. Total ounces are down slightly from a year earlier, but 45 million oz. of gold bodes well for the company going forward.
Proven and probable reserves are 364.8 million tonnes grading 1.1 g/t gold for 12.4 million oz. gold. That is an 11% drop in contained ounces from 2020 when reserves were 406,755 tonnes containing 13.9 million oz.
Measured and indicated resources were 646.5 million tonnes grading 1.1 g/t gold for 22.1 million oz. gold. That is a drop of 8% compared to 2020 when resources were 712.9 million tonnes containing 23.9 million oz.
In the inferred category, resources were 310.5 million tonnes grading 1.1 g/t gold for 11.1 million oz gold. There was a drop of 2% from a year earlier when inferred resources were 314.5 million tonnes containing 11.3 million oz.
The notable exception to this downward trend is the Gosselin deposit, where an initial resource estimate was released in 2021. Iamgold said the indicated resource is 124.5 million tonnes grading 0.8 g/t gold for 3.4 million oz. gold, and the inferred resource is 72.9 million oz. grading 0.7 g/t gold for 3.8 million oz. gold.
The Gosselin deposit is part of the Côté gold project (65% Iamgold, 35% Sumitomo) under development 35 km from Gogama, about 130 km southwest of Timmins, Ont. Adding the Gosselin resources to the total boosted the contained gold by 33% in the measured and indicated category and 45% in the inferred category.
The Côté open pit mine will have a life of 18 years, with a 36,000 t/d processing plant. It is expected to produce 367,000 oz. of gold annually over the life of the project, but the average in the first five years will be 489,000 oz. All told, 6.6 million oz. gold will be recovered.
All-in sustaining costs per ounce sold will be $802. The total cost of construction without leases will be $1.79 billion. The payback period will be 3.7 years after commercial production begins in the second half of 2023.
After taxes, the net present value at a 5% discount is $1.60 billion, and the internal rate of return is 19%.
(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)