Miner inks $195-million joint venture with Sumitomo Metal Mining to develop Côté Project
IAMGOLD is teaming up with a Japanese mine developer to advance its Côté Gold Project toward the feasibility stage and eventually open-pit mining.
The Toronto-headquartered mid-tier miner announced June 5 that it’s signed a joint venture (J-V) agreement with Sumitomo Metal Mining of Tokyo in a $195-million partnership arrangement. Sumitomo buys itself a 30 per cent stake in the northeastern Ontario project.
IAMGOLD will hold majority ownership and will be the operator during development and once the Côté open-pit mine is in operation. This transaction is expected to close by the end of June. “It will enable us to move the project into development and to significantly diversify our production profile as a result of future production from our Canadian operations,” said IAMGOLD’s President and CEO Steve Letwin in a statement.
The Côté Gold Project is located southwest of the community of Gogama and five kilometres west of Highway 144. It’s roughly situated halfway between Timmins (130 km south) and Sudbury (200 km north). Simultaneous with the Sumitomo J-V announcement, IAMGOLD released the results of its positive pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Côté Project.
The study shows low operating costs and a good rate return over a 17-year mine life with an average annual production of 320,000 ounces at an average gold grade of 0.94 grams per tonne. The plan is for the mine to be a conventional truck and shovel open-pit mining operation.
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