IAMGOLD silent as signs point to mining camp closing – by Alan S. Hale (Timmins Daily Press – August 19, 2015)

The Daily Press is the city of Timmins broadsheet newspaper.

GOGAMA – It appears IAMGOLD is shutting down its exploration camp in Gogama.

The Daily Press received unofficial word on Tuesday that the Côté Gold Project will be completely shut down by the end of the week. According to the source, some exploration at the site will be continuing for the time being, but after this Friday the mining camp will be closed, and a skeleton staff will continue to dismantle it next week.

The Daily Press subsequently contacted IAMGOLD to get confirmation.

When asked if the information was true, Cheryl Naveau, the company’s head of aboriginal and community relations for the Côté project, said she could not comment, but that IAMGOLD was planning a teleconference early next week.

The Côté Gold Project was initially proposed in 2012, and for the past few years has been conducting prospecting for a potential open pit mine with an expected ore production period of 15 years. No actual mining has taken place yet.

Why the project is being discontinued is not clear, but it is likely connected with the falling price of gold. Since the Côté project was announced, the price of gold has fallen steadily from a high of $1,778.60 USD per ounce in October 2012 to $1,117.78 USD as of Tuesday afternoon. That is a drop of more than $650 an ounce in less than three years.

Earlier this month, IAMGOLD released its second-quarter financial statements in which it was made clear the company is being hurt by the falling price of gold. The company’s revenues fell from the same time last year by 2%, with the vast majority ($15 million) of that shortfall caused by the lower price of gold.

Although IAMGOLD has already been reducing costs over the past two years, Steve Letwin, the company’s chief executive officer, said more will need to be done, including rethinking new projects.

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