Iamgold’s Quebec mine poised to start in early 2024

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Iamgold Corp [IMG-TSX, IAG-NYSE] released its 2023 second quarter financial results and said its Cote Gold project in Quebec is on track to commence production in early 2024.

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 with partner Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. Ltd. of Japan. In October, 2022, the company said it had 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.

Attributable gold production from continuing operations was 107,000 ounces in the second quarter, generating revenue of US$238.8 million from sales of 121,000 ounces at an average realized gold price of US$1,973 per ounce.

The company reported an all-in-sustaining cost (AISC) per ounce sold from continuing operations of US$1,912.

Gold production from continuing operations year to date is 220,000 ounces.

“As we look to the end of this year, we see Iamgold is well on track to meet its gold production guidance target of 410,000 to 470,000 ounces,” said Iamgold President and CEO Renaud Adams. “We are excited about where Iamgold is positioned today, as when Cote Gold comes online, the company will have a significantly higher production base and lower cost profile, providing a strong foundation of cash flow and growth opportunities in Canada,’’ Adams said.

However, Adams said the company is currently forecasting costs to come in on the upper end of our guidance ranges, due to sustained higher costs of doing business from cooling, yet still present, inflationary pressures and associated complexities in the region in which Iamgold operates.

The company’s 2023 capital cost guidance has increased by 5.0%.

The company reported second quarter net earnings attributable to equity holders of US$92.6 million or 19 cents per share and an adjusted net loss of SU$3.3 million or $0.01 per share. That compared to the consensus estimate of $0.02.

As of June 30, 2023, Iamgold said the Cote Gold project is 85.7% complete. It said the estimated cost to finish the project on a 100% basis is US$665 to US$735 million.

“We have seen remarkable progress and a transformation of Cote Gold as project activities begin in the critical transformation from bulk construction to finishing activities and operational readiness, including a steady ramp up of autonomous mining activities towards production early next year,” Adams said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday, Iamgold shares eased 3.5% or 11 cents to $3.06 on volume of 253,660. The shares are currently trading in a 52-week range of $4.53 and $1.26.

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