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IAMGOLD now has funding in place to complete Côté Gold project

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IAMGOLD announced this week it now has the funding in place to complete its Côté Gold project, located about an hour south of Timmins.

The company said it has completed the sale of its 95 per cent interest in Rosebel Gold Mines N.V. in Suriname to Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. for US$360 million (about $480 million Canadian), as well as the release of IAMGOLD's equipment lease liabilities amounting to approximately $41 million.

The remaining five per cent interest in Rosebel will continue to be held by the Government of Suriname.

"On behalf of the company, we would like to thank the Rosebel team for their hard work and commitment," said Maryse Bélanger, IAMGOLD’s interim president and CEO, in a statement.

"With the completion of the sale of Rosebel, 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.”

“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," Bélanger added.

Construction of Côté Gold began in 2020 and was expected to take three years and cost the company around $900 million. The lifespan of the mine is expected to be 16-18 years and produce 495,000 ounces of gold a year in its first six years.

Average production over the full 18 years is estimated at 365,000 ounces a year, starting in the fourth quarter of 2023.

However, rising costs and other challenges recently pushed back the opening to early 2024. IAMGOLD's share of the remaining costs to complete the project soared from $750 million to an estimated $1.3 billion.

That meant the company needed to raise about $1.1 billion to complete the work.

In December, IAMGOLD announced an agreement with Sumitomo Metal Mining worth $340 million, giving the Japanese company a 10 per cent stake in Côté.

Also in December, IAMGOLD announced it was selling its Boto Gold project, located in western Africa, for $282 million.

Côté Gold is now more 70 per cent complete and is scheduled to come into production in early 2024. 

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