QUEBEC – IamGold of Toronto confirmed that commercial production will begin from the Westwood gold project near Abitibi in the early part of 2013. The project is accessed through the company’s Doyon mine 2.5 km to the west until shaft sinking is completed.
The Westwood project has an anticipated mine life of 19 years, during which time a total of more than 3.4 million oz of gold will be recovered. Average annual gold production will be 190,000 oz at an average cash cost of US$533/oz. Capital costs are estimated at US$518 million for pre-production activities and US$529 for sustaining capital over the life of the mine.
IamGold spent US$124.3 million on the Westwood project in 2011 for infrastructure preparation and construction. The fire detection system, the new pump house and the waste silo are completed. Ground support work has begun in the 6-metre ventilation shaft. Shaft sinking reached a depth of 1,455 metres with the installation of a spill pocket and the safety bulkhead under the 104-0 level. Underground, 9,315 metres of lateral and vertical development was accomplished.
This year, IamGold plans to spend US$198.3 million (after tax credits) at Westwood. A new surface administration and services building as well as a new paste backfill plant will be built. The existing Doyon mill will be refurbished and a new sewage treatment plant installed. Underground work will continue, including the excavation of a 6-metre exhaust raise. Primary cut-and-fill mining will begin in the Warrenmac zone so that a stockpile can be created prior to start-up.
Additional details are available at IamGold.com.