Home > News > BREAKING NEWS: Côté Gold...

BREAKING NEWS: Côté Gold south of Timmins gets $900million green light from IAMGold

Jul 21, 2020

It's one of the most anticipated Northern Ontario mining announcements in years. IAMGOLD Corporation together with joint venture partner Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd., is pleased to announce the decision to proceed with the construction of the Côté Gold Project. The project, located 130 km southwest of Timmins, is a 70/30 JV with SMM.

The decision enables construction start in Q3 2020 with activities ramping up into Q4 2020. Côté construction will incorporate protocols to ensure the health and safety of employees, contractors and host communities in respect of COVID-19.

Gordon Stothart, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, commented, "The Côté Gold Project is transformational to the future of IAMGOLD. At a gold price of $1,700, Côté's expected NPV (on a 100% basis) is over $2 billion, with a 22.4% IRR. The Project is anticipated to generate over 1,000 jobs during construction, 450 jobs during operations, C$5 billion in wages and more than C$10 billion in GDP over its lifespan. Côté is a world-class deposit located in Canada, with estimated contained gold reserves of over 7 million ounces and exploration potential. Today's construction decision for the Project positions the Company well for the future by reducing overall operating costs (per ounce of gold), increasing total production capacity, increasing the number of operating mines and creating greater balance in our geographic diversity. While we focus on building Côté, we will continue to apply our de-risking approach to the Boto Gold Project in Senegal, commencing with meaningful investment in local infrastructure. We are very excited about building our growth pipeline and the future of the Company. We look forward to providing you with updates on our progress."

Capital Spend and Financing:

IAMGOLD's expected go-forward capital obligation (exclusive of sunk costs) is $875 - $925 million for its 70% share of project construction costs, assuming the leasing of major mining equipment of approximately $80 million. This capital is expected to be expended over the following time period, assuming a go-forward U.S. $ / Canadian $ exchange rate of 1.35:

  • 2020: 10% or $77 million (previously $45 million);
  • 2021: 45%;
  • 2022: 35%;
  • 2023: 10%.

The above spend is anticipated to be financed through cash flows from IAMGOLD's operations and its balance sheet, which stands at over $800 million in cash, cash equivalents and short term investments as at March 31, 2020. In addition, the Company currently carries a virtually undrawn committed credit facility of $500 million, the majority of which matures in 2024.

To mitigate financial exposures associated with the expenditures, including currency and commodity risk, and to protect future operating cash flows, the Company may opportunistically enter into derivative contracts. The Company has substantially completed a fuel hedge program over the construction period and has initiated a Canadian dollar hedge program for up to 90% of its Canadian dollar exposure. To date, the Company has hedged just over 5% of the attributable C$ exposure at rates that average $1.3605.

Stakeholder Engagement

The Company has been actively advancing stakeholder engagement as follows:

  • Signed Impacts and Benefits Agreement ("IBA") with First Nations partners at Mattagami First Nation and Flying Post First Nation;
  • Received approval for the Environmental Assessment ("EA") and Closure Plan;
  • Received approval under the Federal Fisheries Act - Section 36, Schedule 2, a key milestone in attaining permits related to impacts on fish habitats and tailings management;
  • Subsequent to the receipt of the Schedule 2, we received approval under the Federal Fisheries Act - Section 35.
  • Permits underway: Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (fish collection), Permit to Take Water, Lakes and Rivers Improvement Act (access roads) and Canadian Navigable Waters Act (for major works including dams and reconnections), permits for industrial sewage (Environmental Compliance Approval - construction phase) and aggregate sourcing (Aggregate Resource Act).

Engineering, Procurement, Construction Management ("EPCM") 
As noted above, today's decision enables a construction start at Côté in Q3 2020 with preparatory work to be completed over the summer and activities ramping up into Q4 2020. The preparatory work is anticipated to include fish salvage, construction camp preparation and road access development.

The Project team has completed over 60% of detailed engineering, which has enabled the Company to obtain firm bids and secure prices on all major equipment. To date, 55% of the total project cost has firm pricing, further reducing technical and cost risks for the Project.

The anticipated construction schedule is 32 months, with expected key milestone dates noted below:

  • Construction start: Q3 2020 with activities ramping up into Q4 2020
  • Earthwork & mining contractors start : Q2 2021
  • Process building enclosed: Q1 2022
  • Tailings Management Facility phase 1 completed: Q4 2022
  • Commissioning completed: Q3 2023
  • Commercial production: H2 2023

Tags: Northern Ontario / New Projects / Gold / All Articles