IAMGOLD is putting its $1-billion Gogama-area Côté Gold project on hold.
The company announced on Jan. 28 it would defer construction of the proposed open-pit gold mine until market conditions improve.
“We are focused on creating superior shareholder value by allocating our capital to our best near- and long-term opportunities in a manner that is consistent with shareholder expectations, and with our goal of maintaining a strong balance sheet,” president-CEO Steve Letwin said in a Jan. 28 news release.
“We have substantially de-risked the Côté Gold Project, from both a technical and financial perspective, and believe in its potential to positively transform the company. However, we have decided to wait for improved, and sustainable, market conditions in order to proceed with construction.”
IAMGOLD released a feasibility study for the project last November.
Located about 20 kilometres southwest of Gogama, and about halfway between Sudbury and Timmins, the project has close to 10 million ounces in the measured and indicated resources categories.
The open-pit mine plan calls for an initial capital cost of $1.15 billion. Annual average gold production is pegged at 367,000 ounces, with a mill rate of 30,000 tonnes per day, and an estimated mine life of 16 years.
Last June, IAMGOLD struck a development agreement with Sumimoto Metal Mining Co., giving Sumimoto a 30 per cent stake in the project.
It’s not the first time the project has been put on hold. IAMGOLD paused development on the project in 2013, after acquiring the property from Trelawny Mining just one year previously.
In the Jan. 28 release, IAMGOLD said it would continue engineering and permitting work at Côté, which it believes will add value to the project.
The company said it would release its work plan for Côté Gold on Feb. 20 when it reports fourth-quarter and full-year 2018 financial results.