Iamgold Eying Major New Mine in Northern Ontario

Barrick Iamgold has reported positive results from a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its Côté open-pit gold project in the Sudbury district of Ontario, while at the same time reporting that the project has received federal and provincial approvals for the project’s environmental assessments.

The Côté project is located 130 kilometers (km) southwest of Timmins and 200 km northwest of Sudbury, Ontario. The PEA outlines an economically viable project that at a $1,200/oz gold price would generate an estimated 12.9% after- tax internal rate of return. The project would have a 21-year mine life, producing an average of 302,000 oz/y of gold at average total cash costs of $564/oz and all-in sustaining costs of $686/oz.

Initial capital costs to develop the Côté project are estimated at $1.03 billion, with a payback period of 5.2 years; life-ofmine sustaining capital costs are estimated at $440 million; and closure costs are estimated at $40 million. Costs assume leasing of the mine production fl eet and some other major equipment components. The PEA envisions a conventional truck-and-shovel, open-pit mining operation, with a processing circuit incorporating primary and secondary crushing, tertiary High Pressure Grinding Roll crushing, ball milling, gravity concentration, and cyanide leaching, followed by gold recovery using carbon-in-pulp, stripping, and electrowinning. The processing rate is planned at 29,000 metric tons per day (mt/d), with plant feed grading an average 0.97 grams/mt.

Power would be supplied to the project via a 44-km tap line connection to Hydro One’s Shining Tree substation. Iamgold has a prefeasibility study in progress to validate the development concepts set out in the Côté project PEA, with completion of the prefeasibility study slated for the end of the second quarter of 2017. The study will include additional drilling and engineering and environmental studies, which will include hydrological, hydrogeological and geotechnical analyses.

Iamgold President and CEO Steve Letwin said, “The Côté gold project provides us with an exceptional option for future growth. Since acquiring Côté several years ago, we have been focused on de-risking the project. Our drilling program has led to a nine-fold increase in the indicated resource to 8 million oz, with another 1-million-oz inferred resource.

“Côté Gold is one of Canada’s largest undeveloped gold deposits, so securing positive decisions on both the federal and provincial environmental assessments for the project is a major regulatory milestone that confi rms we can build and operate an environmentally sustainable mine that aligns with our ‘Zero Harm’ goals.”

Iamgold is conducting ongoing exploration within the more than 500-km2 property surrounding the Côté gold deposit, with the objective of developing and assessing targets that could further maximize its fl exibility with respect to future development decisions.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 03 - www.womp-int.com