Gogama mine project shines for IAMGOLD – by Benjamin Aubé (Timmins Daily Press – January 8, 2013)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

TIMMINS – Another company is looking to put its stamp on the region’s rich mining history. IAMGOLD hopes its Côté Gold project near Gogama will be up and running by the year 2017. Timmins council voiced its enthusiasm for the welcoming of another gold mine to the region.

Mayor Tom Laughren praised the company for initiating a presentation to city council, as well as its early consultation with local and First Nations communities that has been ongoing since IAMGOLD purchased Trelawney Mining in June 2012. “I think that’s phenomenal for a mining organization to be out there ahead of time,” said Laughren. “Anytime there’s mining in our region, we’re very excited.”

IAMGOLD’s manager of corporate social responsibility, Aaron Steeghs, was among the four project representatives on hand at Monday’s presentation. He began by stating the company’s commitment to “zero harm,” encompassing “health and safety, community and First Nations relations, and environment.”

The Côté Gold project will consist of an open-pit mine, and will include tailing storage, a mill site and camp facilities. Located 25 kilometres Southwest Gogama, 130 kilometres south of Timmins, and 170 kilometres North of Sudbury, the operation promises to offer a significant number of employment opportunities over the mine’s projected 15-year lifespan.

Steeghs said around 50 people are currently working at the mine during the project’s initial phases, but that more than 1,000 people will be working on site during the projected construction phase, from 2015 to 2016.

During the mine’s expected years of operation, from 2017 to 2032, Steeghs said more than 400 people will be working at the site on a given day.

“Right now, we’re doing a lot of drilling, defining the resource, and baseline environmental work,” said Steeghs. “We’re just beginning some of socio-economic work and traditional land use with local communities.

“The project is in traditional territory of a couple of First Nations (Mattagami and Flying Post),” he added. “We have exploration agreements in place with both those communities. There will be more comprehensive First Nations consultation with those communities, as well as local communities, such as Gogama, as well as Timmins and Sudbury.”

The next few years will be largely about seeking government approval and licensing, ongoing consultation, and overcoming environmental and ecological challenges.

One of the mine’s complex features will be the draining of Côté Lake, which sits on part of the large gold deposits on the site.

Steve Woolfenden, IAMGOLD’s manager of corporate environmental assessment and approvals, said that the company’s team will continue to work on making the most of the situation.

“The project site is blessed with lots of water, that’s a good thing compared to a lot of other mines we have around the world that have to bring water in,” said Woolfenden. “We will be working closely with the Ministry of Natural Resources and Fisheries and Oceans to address the compensation requirements for the loss of that lake.”

For the rest of this article, please go to the Timmins Daily Press website: http://www.timminspress.com/2013/01/08/gogama-mine-project-shines-for-iamgold