Iamgold monitors Burkina Faso situation

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Iamgold Corp [IMG-TSX, IAG-NYSE] on Tuesday said it is closely monitoring and assessing the political situation in Burkina Faso following reports that President Roch Marc Christian Kabore has been ousted in a military coup.

A BBC report said Kabore’s removal was triggered by growing discontent among security forces over his alleged failure to adequately support them against militants linked to both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State group.

On January 23, 2022, mutinies were reported in several military camps, in the capital Ouagadougou, and the northern towns of Kaya and Ouahigouya.

The unrest follows months of anti-government protests demanding the president’s resignation.

Militant attacks that began in 2015 have claimed more than 2,000 lives and forced 1.5 million people from their homes, according to UN estimates.

Back In October, 2021, several people were reported missing after a convoy belonging to Iamgold was attacked in northern Burkina Faso. A report, citing two security sources, said vehicles carrying Iamgold employees came under attack on the road between Dori and Essakane, where the Canadian miner has its biggest operating mine.

However, Iamgold said the incident was eventually resolved, with all employees and contactors involved in the incident accounted for and safe. It said the Essakane mine site remains secured and operations have not been affected.

Iamgold went on to say that the company had offered support to the personnel involved, colleagues and families and continues to engage with the relevant authorities and other partners in Burkina Faso in connection with security in the region around Essakane and its routes.

Iamgold is an intermediate gold producer with operations in three regions globally: North and South America and West Africa. The company’s operating mines include Essakane in Burkina Faso, Rosebel in Suriname, and Westwood in Canada.

Essakane is held 90% by Iamgold and 10% by the Government of Burkina Faso. It produced 412,000 ounces of gold in 2021.

The company is targeting production this year of between 570,000 and 640,000 ounces of gold from Essakane, Rosebel and Westwood. Cote Gold, located in Gogama, Ontario, will be the company’s fourth mine. It is expected to produce an average of 367,000 ounces of gold annually over a projected lifespan of 18 years at an average grade of 0.96 g/t.

Life of mine all-in-sustaining costs are estimated at US$771 an ounce, with the initial capital spend forecast at $1.3 billion. Iamgold’s expected go-forward capital obligation (exclusive of sunk costs) is $875 to $925 million for its 70% share of project construction costs.

On Tuesday, Iamgold shares eased 1.6% or $0.05 to $3.14 on volume of 487,300 and trade in a 52-week range of $4.62 and $2.75.

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