Gold miner Iamgold has temporarily reduced the size of its workforce at the Westwood underground mine in Quebec by 437 workers, or 70% of its underground staff.
This announcement follows the Oct. 30 suspension of the site due to a seismic event. The producer is still investigating the cause of the ground movement and assessing a business recovery plan for the mine. The Westwood mill started back up on Nov. 4 and is processing stockpile material and ore from the Grand Duc open pit.
The company expects to provide a further update on the asset in early 2021. With the release of its third quarter results, the gold company lowered its 2020 production guidance for the year, to 630,000 to 680,000 oz. (from 645,000 to 700,000 oz. previously) due to the Quebec mine suspension. The underground asset was most recently (prior to the third quarter release) expected to churn out 85,000 to 100,000 gold oz. this year.
In August, Iamgold revised Westwood reserves downward, to 2.7 million tonnes grading 7.1 g/t gold, for a total of 618,000 gold ounces. At the time, the miner also reaffirmed guidance from December 2019, which suggests 100,000 to 125,000 oz. of gold output annually over a three to four-year ramp-up period, followed by steady-state production of 130,000 to 145,000 gold oz. a year.