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Business|Construction|Energy|Gold|Mining|Power|PROJECT|SECURITY|Trucks|Power Generation|Drilling|Operations

Côté provides strong foundation for Iamgold to grow in Canada

The Cote project leach tanks in July 2023

The Cote project leach tanks in July 2023

11th August 2023

By: Mariaan Webb

Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online


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The Côté gold project, in Ontario, has made “remarkable progress” with activities now transitioning from bulk construction to finishing activities and operational readiness, ahead of first production early next year.

The project is now more than 86% complete, reports joint venture (JV) partner Iamgold CEO Renaud Adams.

Autonomous mining activities are ramping up. During the second quarter,  up to seven CAT 793F haul trucks have begun operating in autonomous mode and a total of 14 haul trucks have been commissioned.

Autonomous drilling with two Pit Vipers began in the second quarter, with a third nearing commissioning completion.

Owner mining has progressed with nearly 1.1-million tonnes mined in the second quarter. The stockpile has grown to two-million tonnes of material and will reach its targeted five-million-tonne build-up by the end of the year.

The project is now more than 86% complete and the remaining capital outlay is in line with estimates.

Since construction started in the third quarter of 2020, $2.23-billion of the planned $2.965-billion of project expenditures has been incurred. The estimated cost to completion is $665-million to $735-million on a 100% basis.

"As we move into the second half of 2023, Iamgold is proud of its achievements so far this year," says Adams.

Gold production from continuing operations year to date is 220 000 oz at cash costs of $1 234/oz sold.

"As we look to the end of this year, we see Iamgold is well on track to meet its gold production guidance targets of 410 000 oz to 470 000 oz,” says Adams, but cautions that costs will come in on the upper-end of the guidance ranges of  $1 125/oz and $1 175/oz sold for cash costs and between $1 625/oz and $1 700/oz for all-in sustaining costs (AISC).

This is attributed to sustained higher cost of doing business from cooling, yet still present, inflationary pressures and associated complexities in the regions in which the miner operates.

At Essakane, in Burkina Faso, the landed cost of fuel has increased owing to measures taken to reduce the impact of the security situation in that country on the supply chain, which allowed for a return to full mining and milling capacity. In addition, heavy fuel used for power generation is periodically substituted with more expensive light fuel owing to availability, further increasing the cost of producing energy used in the mill.

However, Adams says that once Côté comes on line, Iamgold will have a significantly higher production base and lower cost profile, providing a strong foundation of cashflow and growth opportunities in Canada.

Côté will produce 495 000 oz/y at an AISC of $854/oz for the first six of its 18-year mine life.

Edited by Creamer Media Reporter



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