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Exploration at Gogama-area gold mine project continues to build ounces

IAMGOLD's Côté Gold Project has a satellite deposit with open-ended potential
Cote Gold construct 5
The worker accommodations camp at IAMGOLD's Côté Gold Project near Gogama as mine development work proceeds in the background. (Company photo)

The Toronto gold mine developer that's building an open-pit mine near Gogama posted a first-time gold estimate on a neighbouring satellite deposit.

IAMGOLD has released a maiden resource that exceeds 5-million ounces of gold for its Gosselin Zone discovery, a deposit situated 1.5 kilometres northeast of where construction is currently taking place for the Côté Gold Mine, situated halfway between Sudbury and Timmins.

The company is confident that its 500-square-kilometre property, just west of Highway 144, contains enough gold to create a district-scale open-pit mining operation with plenty of longevity.

The Côté Gold Project is located 125 kilometres south of Timmins and 175 kilometres north of Sudbury. It's a 70-30 joint venture between IAMGOLD and Sumitomo Metal Mining of Japan.

Gosselin's indicated mineral resource is 3.35-million ounces of gold, at an average grade of 0.84 grams per tonne (g/t) within 124.5 million tonnes. The inferred resource is 1.71 million ounces, averaging 0.73 g/t within 72.9 million tonnes.  

This estimate was based on almost 55,000 metres of drilling and 163 diamond drill holes.

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"The exploration team is to be especially congratulated for safely completing a series of successive, logistically challenging, delineation-drilling programs while navigating the evolving challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Craig MacDougall, the company's executive vice president of growth, in a news release.

"We believe that the Gosselin deposit will continue to enhance the long-term value and district-scale potential of the Côté Gold project. The Gosselin deposit remains open along strike to the northeast and has only been drilled to approximately half the depth of the Côté Gold deposit itself, so there remains significant potential to further expand total resources," MacDougall added.

The mining company also issued a progress report on construction of the Côté Mine with the project completion now at 36 per cent and everything looking good to start commercial production in the second half of 2023.

With mining jobs for 450 once in production, the operation will be an employment boon to the village of Gogama and the First Nation communities of Flying Post and Mattagami.

At this point, the Côté deposit, on its own, has an 18-year mine life based on gold reserves of 7.3 million ounces, plus 10.2 million ounces more in the measured and indicated category.

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IAMGOLD said gold exploration continues at Gosselin as all signs show the deposit getting bigger.

The company reports drilling to date has revealed low-grade gold mineralization over a strike length of 1,400 metres, a width of 400 metres, and down to a depth of 425 metres. The deposit remains open at depth below the shallow Three Ducks Lake to the northwest and along strike to the northeast and southwest.

IAMGOLD also wants to explore a "saddle area" between Gosselin and the Côté Gold deposit to connect the dots for gold potential there and eventually fold that data into a future mine planning study.

Besides working on this project in northeastern Ontario, IAMGOLD runs mines in Burkina Faso, in Surname and southwestern Quebec with its Westwood Gold Mine between Rouyn-Noranda and Val d’Or.