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IAMGOLD forges ahead with Côté Gold Project

Company expects construction to start later this year on Gogama-area mine
IAMGOLD Cote Gold Project (aerial)
(File photo)

IAMGOLD has announced it’s going ahead with construction of its Côté Gold Project, with construction set to start later this year.

The Toronto-based mining company made the announcement on July 21.

“Côté will have a transformative impact on IAMGOLD and become an industrial cornerstone of the Northern Ontario community of Gogama and surrounding areas,” company president-CEO Gord Stothart said in a news release.

“To get to this point today we have received invaluable support from the Northern Ontario community, which includes our First Nation partners, Mattagami First Nation and Flying Post First Nation, and the local governments in Gogama, Sudbury and Timmins.”

Located about halfway between Sudbury and Timmins, the project is a 70/30 joint venture project with Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd.

IAMGOLD said the open-pit gold mine has an estimated mine life of 18 years and will produce an estimated 360,000 ounces of gold, at $1,350 per ounce.

The mine will be serviced by a fleet of autonomous haul trucks and drills, and the mill producing 36,000 tonnes per day.

Construction will start in the third quarter of 2020, creating more than 1,300 construction jobs, and 450 full-time operations jobs when complete.

Production is expected to start in 2021, and over its life Côté is expected to generate $10 billion in GDP and $5 billion in wages.

The company said it’s continuing exploration efforts in the area with the goal of extending the mine life.

Mattagami First Nation Chief Chad Boissoneau said the project created new opportunities for his community.

“Our community is celebrating this announcement. This is the culmination of years of diligent work on both sides,” Boissoneau said in the release.

“Côté Gold will have a significant positive impact for future generations. There are considerable business development, education and training opportunities for our community and we are pleased we can move forward with these.”

Flying Post First Nation Chief Murray Ray also welcomed the news.

“Since signing the IBA (impact benefit agreement) in 2019 we have been eagerly awaiting a project decision and are extremely pleased it has arrived,” Ray said in the release.

“We have an open and trusting dialogue with IAMGOLD and are excited about the opportunities it will create for our community. We already have contracts in place for construction and site preparation work and look forward to growing these opportunities.”