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IAMGOLD pours its first gold bar in northern Ont.


The new Côté Gold Mine in Gogama, Ont., has officially poured its first gold bar.

The new Côté Gold Mine in northern Ontario has officially poured its first gold bar. (Supplied/IAMGOLD)

After more than four years of construction and 15 million plus hours of work, IAMGOLD has achieved a memorable milestone at its newest open pit mine that has become the flagship of its Canadian operations.

Company president and CEO Renaud Adams said the achievement represents the culmination of years of hard work by the project team.

“An incredible effort for the team on the ground as the project cost to first gold remains in line with the updated budget estimate while maintaining a near impeccable safety record,” he said.

The new open pit mine is located approximately halfway between Timmins and Greater Sudbury, Côté is IAMGOLD’s only operation in Ontario – with other mines in Westwood, Que. and across the Atlantic in Essakane, Burkina Faso.

Côté expected to be among Canada’s largest gold mines, on a district-sized scale, with production expected to continue over the next several decades.

The initial life of the mine is estimated at 18 years, but the company sees the potential for open-ended production due to the nearby Gosselin deposit, which has yet to be developed and brought into production.

IAMGOLD said Côté’s gold production target for this year will be between 220,000 and 290,000 ounces.

As exploration continues on the company’s 600-square-kilometre land package, the current combined measured and indicated mineral resource from both the Côté and Gosselin deposits is about 16.5 million ounces with an additional 4.2 million ounces in the inferred category.The discovery of the Gosselin deposit on IAMGOLD's 600-square-kilometre land package has extended the expected life of Côté mine beyond the original estimate of 18 years. (Supplied/IAMGOLD)

Among the innovative and safe technologies at the Côté facility are fully automated drill rigs and driverless haul trucks.

“This is just the beginning for Côté, as we believe the project is the start of what will ultimately turn into a new mining district that will be a mining hub for decades to come," said Adams.

Construction of the open-pit mine started in 2020 at the height of the pandemic with the project enduring a few hiccups along the way between inflation and cost overruns, supply chain shortages, construction delays, project and management shuffles and contractor illness at the site due to COVID-19.

IAMGOLD is still running systems checks in preparation for achieving commercial production sometime during the third quarter of this year.

In a news release this week, Adams said that he was pleased that the first gold pour was achieved less than 90 days after the start of pre-commissioning activities.

An overview of the IAMGOLD Côté mine site near Gogama, Ont. (File Photo/Supplied/IAMGOLD)

The company said the ramp-up of its operations is going well and the performance of the crushing, grinding roll and processing circuits all fall within its expectations. Top Stories

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