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IAMGOLD Côté Lake Full steam ahead

Jan 22, 2021

(L to R) Natural Resources Minister John Yakabuski looks on as IAMGOLD’s Gordon Stothart explains to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau how the mine will operate. Photo taken by Mining Life`s Kevin Vincent

By Kevin Vincent
Gold mines can provide incredible returns for shareholders. At the same time, they can transform, and even give birth to entire communities. The area in and around the town of Gogama is undergoing an economic renaissance.
IAMGOLD is poised to spend more than a billion dollars during the development phase of the Côté Mine and a major portion of that is going into supporting the area’s two indigenous communities – Flying Post and Mattagami First Nations.
The project received the green light in mid-2020 after the Ontario government implemented a “SWAT Team” of bureaucrats tasked by Premier Doug Ford and Energy Northern Development and Mines Minister Greg Rickford.
Since the summer announcement the company has been running an around-the-clock construction program and fielding a massive roster of enquiries from contractors and suppliers looking for an opportunity to cash in on some of that billion-dollar spend.
With the addition of Côté Lake, IAMGOLD is targeting an ambitious goal of one million ounces per year by 2024. The company’s current guidance for investors is just under 700,000 ounces per year.
Construction began in September of last year, and commercial production is slated for the third to 4th quarter of 2023 with full production in 2024.
Add to that, an impressive list of exploration projects including the Nelligan and Monster Lake projects in Quebec and the Gosselin and Young Shannon Projects in Ontario.
It’s all great news for Premier Ford and Rickford who are promising Ontarians haven’t seen the last of new mine openings under their watch.
“The Premier knows we need to fan this flame,” Rickford told Mining Life. The previous Liberal governments deliberately roadblocked a number of promising mines that would have created thousands of jobs in the north and channeled hundreds of millions of dollars into First Nations communities.
The Cote Mine is expected to 450 full-time, well-paid employees and generate an estimated $5 billion in direct and indirect payroll.
Between the mine itself and the exploration deals, IAMGOLD is looking at close to 540 squares kilometers of fertile gold-hunting ground.
“I can tell you that the Premier is intensely involved in everything to do with mining right now,” said Rickford. “He sees the benefits to local communities, he sees it as a major job creator, he sees it as a major contributor to Ontario’s economy, and he knows that Ontario’s vast mineral wealth is going to play a central role in the production of electric vehicles – and he wants Ontario to be a global leader on that front.”
During the official Côté Lake ground-breaking ceremony, Ford had high praise for IAMGOLD. “The opening of this mine is a prime example of how the Ontario government can help businesses grow and create jobs by cutting red tape and removing regulatory roadblocks, without cost to taxpayers,” said Premier Ford. “I want to thank IAMGOLD for making this significant investment in Northern Ontario, which will create good-paying jobs for the local community and support the long-term prosperity of both the region and Ontario as a whole.”

IAMGOLD is committed to principles of Zero Harm

Iamgold Picture Provincial Government
Ford Government thank IAMGOLD for making a significant investment in Northern Ontario

To support the project, the Ministry of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, and the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks worked together through the One-Window Multi-Ministry Team (casually referred to as a SWAT Team) to help coordinate on the environmental assessment process, review the closure plan for the mine, and move the permitting process forward.
The Ontario Mining Association recently released a graphic (below) that illustrates the vast array of permits and regulations that mining and exploration companies have to abide by, in order to get an ultimate production permit.


Mine Permit Landscape
The government continues to work collaboratively with IAMGOLD, First Nation and Métis communities, the federal government, interest groups and forest industry to reduce delays and remove regulatory barriers for permitting and approvals to help support construction of the project.
“Mining is a key driver of our provincial economy and our government is proud to support Ontario’s world-class mining industry,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines; Minister of Indigenous Affairs. “The opening of  Côté Gold Mine will propel economic recovery forward in the region, once again signalling to the world that Northern Ontario is open for business, jobs and investment.”
The Côté Gold Mine project has gold reserves of more than seven million ounces. During the construction phase alone, the project will create more than 1,000 jobs and generate business for hundreds of local mining supply and services companies. Once construction is complete, the mine is expected to reach full production by 2023.
“Northern Ontario is a resource-rich area with considerable economic development potential, and our goal is to encourage economic growth and create good-paying jobs in these communities,” said John Yakabuski, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry. “Our government supports development that is beneficial to our communities while maintaining our commitment to conservation.”
The Côté Gold Mine project is expected to have an 18-year mine life, making it a Tier One asset. Tier One mining assets are typically identified as a 10-year mine life with annual production of at least half a million ounces.
At Westwood, the company is actively engaged an exploration plan they call the “Hub and Spoke” Model. With Westwood as the hub, the company is exploring the Fayolle property 35km northeast of Rouyn-Noranda, just 29km northwest of Westwood, as well as the Rouyn Gold Project 4km south of Rouyn-Noranda and 40km west of Westwood.  



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