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IAMGOLD aims for March startup of gold production in Gogama

Systems testing of crushers begin at Côté Gold Project
Autonomous haul track at IAMGOLD’s Côté Gold Project (Company photo)

IAMGOLD’s Côté Gold Project, outside Gogama, appears on track to start initial gold production in March.

The Toronto gold company delivered a Jan. 22 update on the pace of progress at its open-pit mine project located halfway between Sudbury and Timmins. 

In a news release, Renaud Adams, president-CEO of IAMGOLD, said commissioning activities are “progressing well,” as the startup of the primary crushing circuit continues.

Côté Gold will be the company’s new flagship operation and is expected to be the third largest gold mine in Canada. The operation will incorporate autonomous drill rigs and haul trucks.

"Pre-commissioning of the primary crushing circuit is ongoing with full commissioning of the first mined rock delivered to the crusher via our autonomous haul trucks planned for later this week,” Adams said in a statement.

The current life of mine is 18 years, but the company is continuing exploration at a nearby satellite deposit, called Gosselin, to extend operations well into the future.

In the course of carving out the pit, the company has already started mining by stockpiling ore for processing through the on-site mill.

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Côté is a 60/40 joint venture with Sumitomo Metal Mining. The site is 25 kilometres southwest of Gogama and five kilometres east of Highway 144.

“Next steps include commissioning of the secondary crushing circuit,” added Adams, "followed by the grinding and wet circuits towards our target of initial production towards the end of the quarter. This stage of iterative testing and project advancement is critical in order to position the project for a successful and steady ramp-up of gold production through the year.”

The miner also provided a preliminary report on its full-year and fourth-quarter 2023 production results.

In 2023, IAMGOLD generated gold production of 465,000 ounces from its mines in western Quebec and Burkina Faso in West Africa, reaching the top end of its company-wide gold target, referred to in industry vernacular as guidance.

The company said the full-blown fourth-quarter and 2023 operating and financial results, plus its forecast for 2024, will be posted after the market closes on Feb. 15. Management will make their remarks in a conference call the next morning.