Iamgold (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG) recently updated construction progress and costs at its 70%-held Côté gold joint venture project with Sumitomo Metal Mining near Gogama, Ont.
The Côté project is on schedule and was 27% complete at the end of June. Contractors are widening the road to the site and removing overburden. The concrete batch plant at the mine site is operational, and the foundations for the ball mill circuit have been poured. Half of the planned rooms at the permanent camp are completed.
Iamgold said in a news release that total cost of the project has risen this year and its 70% of the costs will be US$1.1-$1.2 billion, compared to US$875-$925 million in last year’s estimate. The company has already spent $193 million on the project. First production is expected in the second half of 2023.
Contributing to the cost increase are: higher structural, mechanical, piping, electrical and concrete estimates for the process facility; higher mine facilities costs; increases in earthworks materials and manpower estimates; certain scope changes; inflation - including pricing increases due to COVID-19 related supply chain challenges. The company said currency exchange rates and costs related to COVID-19 also played a part.
The Côté project has a projected mine life of 18 years, during which time a total of 6.6 million oz. of gold will be recovered. There is a proven and probable reserve of 233 million tonnes grading 1 g/t gold, containing 7.3 million oz. (100%). The project will be the first open pit hard rock mining project in Canada to use autonomous haulage.
The project is 92% owned and operated by the Iamgold-Sumitomo JV, with 7.5% held by a third party, Treelawn Investment Corp.
Find more information at www.Iamgold.com.