IAMGOLD Corp. [IMG-TSX; IAG-NYSE] said Monday November 2 that it has suspended operations at its 100%-owned Westwood Gold Mine in Quebec following a seismic event that occurred in the underground mine.
The event occurred at approximately 2:30 p.m. (Eastern time) on Friday, October 30, 2020. All employees have been safely brought above ground, the company said.
IAMGOLD said the appropriate government authorities have been contacted and the cause of the seismic event is being investigated. The company went on to say that mine and mill operations are suspended while a business recovery plan is being assessed.
IAMGOLD is an intermediate gold producer with four operating mines in Burkina Faso (Essakane), Suriname (Rosebel) and Canada (Westwood). The company is also engaged in a 41% joint venture in Mali (Sadiola).
Westwood is currently the smallest mine in a portfolio that is expected to produce 685,000 to 740,000 ounces of gold this year. In an updated 2020 production forecast, IAMGOLD said it expected Westwood to produce between 85,000 and 100,000 ounces of gold this year.
Westwood is located on the Doyon property, 2.5 km east of the former Doyon Gold and approximately 40 km east of Rouyn-Noranda.
Westwood began production in Q1 2013. The mine reached the commercial production stage in July, 2014, producing 70,000 ounces in the first two quarters with an average diluted grade of 7.98 g/t.
Westwood is currently IAMGOLD’s only underground mine. It is estimated to have a mine life of roughly 20 years. Ore from the Westwood underground is hauled to the Doyon mill (2 km away) to be crushed and ground.
In March 2017, Westwood received approval from provincial regulators to resume mining in the 104 block that had been impacted by a seismic event in 2015.
Measured and indicated resources at Westwood are 1.55 million ounces, grading 10.2 g/t gold. On top of that amount is an inferred resource of 1.8 million ounces, grading 8.6 g/t.
On Monday, IAMGOLD shares eased 1.4% or $0.07 to $4.81 on volume of 1.9 million. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $7.07 and $2.00.