Iamgold shares advance on Cote gold update, Q1 results

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Iamgold Corp [IMG-TSX, IAG-NYSE] reported its first quarter 2024 results saying it started the year with a very strong performance across its operations, projects and in health and safety.

Iamgold shares advanced on the news rising 4.7% or 25 cents to $5.52 on volume of 702,320. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $5.38 and $2.71.

Iamgold is an intermediate gold producer and developer based in Canada with operating mines in North America and West Africa. The company is building the long- life Cote project in Quebec with partner Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. of Japan. In October, 2022, the company agreed to sell its interest 95% interest in Rosebel Gold Mines in Suriname to Zijin Mining Group Co. Ltd. for US$360 million.

The deal left Iamgold with the Essakane mine in Burkina Faso, West Africa and the Westwood mine in Canada in addition to the Cote gold project.

After reporting attributable gold production of 151, 000 ounces in the first quarter of 2024, the company said it is on track to achieve (excluding Cote Gold) attributable gold production in the rage of 430,000 and 490,000 ounces this year. All in sustaining costs at Essakane and Westwood are expected to come in at between US$1,780 and US$1,940 pe ounce sold.

Iamgold President and CEO Renaud Adams said Iamgold’s strong first quarter performance was driven by stable operations and positive grade reconciliation at Essakane, coupled with Westwood achieving its highest quarter of production since the restart of the mine in 2021.

“The highlight of the quarter and a major milestone for Iamgold was the announcement of the first gold pour at the Cote gold mine,’’ Adams said. “This achievement represents the culmination of over 15 million hours of work over four years of construction to bring the project on line within the revised budget –an incredible effort for the team on the ground.’’

The first gold pour was completed on March 31, 2024. Operations at Cote are scheduled to ramp up in the second quarter of 2024. Commercial production is expected to be achieved during the third quarter of 2024.

Operating guidance for Cote Gold is unchanged, with 2024 production on a 100% basis expected to be between 220,000 and 290,000 ounces for the year. (Iamgold’s 60.3% share of that is expected to amount to 132,000 to 174,000 ounces).

As Cote Gold achieves 90% throughput, which is expected by the end of the year, the company estimates all in sustaining costs to be in the range of US$1,000 and US$1,200.

Since the start of construction, $2.93 billion of the planned US$2.96 billion of project expenditures has been incurred up to the achievement of the first gold pour. Remaining project expenditures post first gold are estimated at $67 million, plus or minus 5.0%, in line with guidance.

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