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Côté gold project, Canada – update

Image of gold pour

Photo by ©Creamer Media

5th April 2024

By: Sheila Barradas

Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

     

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Name of the Project
Côté gold project.

Location
Northern Ontario, Canada.

Project Owner/s
Côté is a 70:30 joint venture (JV) between Iamgold and Sumitomo Metal Mining (SMM).

Project Description
The Côté gold project is one of the largest undeveloped gold projects in Canada.

A feasibility study completed on the project in November 2018 showed an economically viable, long-life project that is expected to be a low-cost producing mine.

The project includes a base case and an extended mine plan.

The base case mine plan envisages an openpit mining operation with a 16-year life-of-mine (LoM), with a mining capacity of 62-million tonnes a year and a milling capacity of 13.1-million tonnes a year.

LoM average production is estimated at 367 000 oz/y.

For the extended mine plan, two years have been added to the base case mine life, with no expansion of the infrastructure footprint other than a larger pit.

For the extended mine plan, openpit mining includes 46-million tonnes extracted during the two-year preproduction period, followed by 16 years of production mining. Stockpile reclaim extends the milling operation into Year 18.

LoM average production is estimated 372 000 oz/y

Potential Job Creation
The project is expected to create more than 1 000 jobs during construction, 450 jobs during operations, C$5-billion in wages and more than C$10-billion in gross domestic product over its life span.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
In the feasibility study base case, the project has a pretax net present value (NPV), at a 5% discount rate, of $1.24-billion and an after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 18.7%, with a payback of 4.4 years.

In the extended case, the project has an after-tax NPV, at a 5% discount rate, of $1.40-billion and an IRR of 18.7%, with a payback of 4.4 years.

Capital Expenditure
Iamgold has lowered its full-year production guidance and increased the cost estimate for the new Côté gold mine.

The company has stated that its 70% of the updated project cost estimate for Côté has increased to between C$1.13-billion and C$1.18-billion, from the previous estimate of between $875-million and $925-million. Iamgold has already spent $193-million.

The cost hike is primarily driven by increased structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and concrete estimates for the process facility; increases in mine facilities costs, earthworks materials and manpower estimates; certain scope changes; inflation; changes in the currency exchange rate; and costs related to Covid-19.

Planned Start/End Date
The project broke ground in September 2020 and had a targeted completion date of mid-2023.

Latest Developments
Iamgold has successfully completed the inaugural gold pour at the Coté project.

The next step and focus for the company is on the ramp-up of the operation to commercial production in the third quarter towards the goal of exiting 2024 at a 90% throughput rate.

Production guidance from Côté this year, on a 100% basis, is unchanged at 220 000 oz to 290 000 oz of gold.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
Iamgold, email info@iamgold.com.
SMM, tel +81 3 3436 7705.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter

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