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First gold pour at Gogama mine

IAMGOLD targets third quarter for commercial production at Côté
Haul truck at IAMGOLD's Cote mine site

GOGAMA — The new Côté Gold Mine has poured its first gold bar.

Almost four years after the sod-turning to begin digging out the open pit, IAMGOLD is marking a memorable milestone of its now flagship operation outside Gogama.

“This achievement represents the culmination of over 15 million hours of work over four years of construction — an incredible effort for the team on the ground as the project cost to first gold remains in line with the updated budget estimate while maintaining a near impeccable safety record,” said company president-CEO Renaud Adams in a March 31 news release.

Located roughly halfway between Sudbury and Timmins, Côté is IAMGOLD’s only Ontario operation. Its other mines are Westwood in Quebec and Essakane in Burkina Faso. It’s expected to be among Canada’s largest gold mines, on a district-sized scale, over the next few decades.

The initial mine life is 18 years but the company sees open-ended potential with a second deposit in waiting nearby at the Gosselin deposit, which has yet to be developed and brought into production.

This year’s gold production target will range between 220,000 and 290,000 ounces.

The combined measured and indicated mineral resource at Côté and Gosselin adds up to 16.5 million ounces with an additional 4.2 million ounces in the inferred category. Exploration on IAMGOLD's extensive 600-square-kilometre land package continues.

Among the innovative and safe technologies on stage at Côté are fully automated drill rigs and driverless haul trucks.

Adams added, “This is just the beginning for Côté, as we believe the project is the start of what will ultimately turn into a new mining district that will be a mining hub for decades to come."

Construction of the open-pit mine started in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. The project endured its fair share of hiccups with inflation, cost overruns, supply chain shortages, construction delays, project and management shuffles, and contractor illness at site due to COVID.

IAMGOLD is still running systems checks in preparation to achieve commercial production sometime during the third quarter of this year.

In his statement, Adams was pleased that the first gold pour was achieved less than 90 days since the start of pre-commissioning activities.

The company said the operational ramp-up is going well in the performance of the crushing, grinding roll and processing circuits, all falling within expectations.


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