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Iamgold updates progress at Côté gold mine, initial Gosselin resource

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Iamgold (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG) offered a third quarter update on construction at its Côté gold project 25 km southwest of Gogama, Ontario, and an initial resource for the Gosselin deposit containing over 5 million oz. of gold. Iamgold is the 70% owner and operator, and Sumitomo Metal Mining owns the remaining 30%.

Using a 0.3 g/t gold cut-off, the Gosselin deposit is estimated at 124.5 million indicated tonnes averaging 0.84 g/t gold for 3.35 million contained oz. and 72.9 million inferred tonnes grading 0.73 g/t gold for 1.71 million contained ounces. This deposit has only been drilled to about half the depth of the Côté deposit, and it remains open at depth and along strike.

Adding the Gosselin deposit to that of the Côté deposit represents a 33% increase in contained gold in the measured and indicated category and a 45% increase in the inferred category.

The Côté deposit includes 365.5 million measured and indicated tonnes grading 0.87 g/t gold for 10.2 million contained oz. and 189.6 million inferred tonnes grading 0.63 g/t gold for 3.8 million contained ounces.

Iamgold said the Côté project is 36% complete and is on track for commercial production in the second half of 2023. Most of the heavy mobile mine equipment is ordered, the camp if 95% done, and the fish relocation is complete for the year. Detailed engineering is 85% complete, and the steel for the processing plant is going up. The pit is being pre-stripped, permitting and sustainability work is ongoing, and the company is following up with the impact benefit agreements with the Mattagami, Flying Post and Metis communities.

The company has also updated the Côté technical report. The mine will have average annual production of 489,000 oz. in years one through five, and an annual average of 367,000 oz. over the 18 years of planned mine life. All-in sustaining costs are expected to be $802 per ounce. When filed, the updated 43-101 report will replace the one done in 2018.

The project has after-tax economics of a net present value, with a 5% discount, of $1.6 billion and an internal rate of return of 19%. Payback of the initial capex would be achieved in 3.7 years with a gold price of $1,600.

(This article first appeared in the Canadian Mining Journal)

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