BURKINA FASO - Toronto's IamGold Corp. has started up its Essakane gold mine six months ahead of the original target, year-end 2010. Output wil be 315,000 oz of gold per year at a cash cost of US$400-410 per ounce.
"Essakane is the first greenfield project built by IamGold in Africa. The fact that it has been completed ahead of schedule and in line with the capital budget is a testament to the excellence of the members of our project development team, many of whom were involved in building Rosebel," said Peter C. Jones, interim president and CEO.
"With the start-up of our second flagship mine, IamGold is not only demonstrating its great project development capabilities, but adding another long life, low cost operation to its portfolio. We are positioned for a steady production ramp up, with a core of experienced people, assisted by technical and operational personnel seconded from some of our other operations, including the Doyon mill in Quebec," Jones said.
Essakane has been designed as an open pit, carbon-in-leach producer. It has an estimated mine life of 15 years. The government of Burkina Faso holds a 10% interest in the project.
The most recent resource numbers are posted at www.IamGold.com.