Toronto’ s IAMGOLD has secured some much-needed cash from the sale of a South American mine to pour into finishing its open-pit gold mine project near Gogama.
The company announced it has closed the sale of its 95 per cent ownership in the Rosebel Gold Mine in Suriname to Zijin Mining Group of China for US$360 million ($478 million Canadian) and the release of IAMGOLD’s equipment lease liabilities for $41 million ($54.4 million).
The proceeds will be funnelled into the Côté gold project.
The remaining five per cent interest in Rosebel will reside with the Government of Suriname.
The construction project, located halfway between Sudbury and Timmins, just off Highway 144, is approaching the three-quarter construction mark on the way to commercial production in early 2024.
Just before Christmas, IAMGOLD’s 30 per cent joint venture partner at Côté,, Sumitomo Metal Mining Company of Japan loaned them US$340-million ($463.5 million) to move pit and mill project toward the finish line.
"With the completion of the sale of Rosebel,” stated Maryse Bélanger, board chair and interim president-CEO, “IAMGOLD has achieved an important milestone in the company's strategy to create value for our stakeholders through disciplined portfolio management to fund the Côté Gold Project.
“Côté Gold today is over 70 per cent complete and remains on track for production in early 2024. This transaction, in addition to the previously announced sale of IAMGOLD's West African gold assets and the financing agreement with Sumitomo, ensures the current remaining funding requirements for completion of construction at Côté have been met."
When in operation, Côté will provide full-time employment for more than 450.
The mine is projected to have an 18-year life. Exploration continues on a nearby satellite gold deposit which will likely boost its longevity and expand Côté into a district-scale mining complex.
A feature of Côté will be its autonomous mining capabilities with 23 driver-less haul trucks and six autonomous drills.