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IAMGOLD releases updated Resource and Reserve estimates for Rosebel gold mine

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Canadian gold producer IAMGOLD Corporation (IAMGOLD) has shared an updated Resource and Reserve estimate for its Rosebel gold mine (Rosebel) in Suriname (South America). This reportedly includes a declaration of reserves from the Saramacca deposit, located approximately 25 km from the Rosebel mill.

Consolidated gold reserves at Rosebel increased by 51%. This considerable increase was a result of the significant contribution from the Saramacca deposit, as well as overall improvements to the current LOM Plan, allowing for the inclusion of the Koolhoven deposit (Koolhoven). 

The declaration of reserves at Saramacca contributed 1 million oz, accounting for 64% of the increase, while the inclusion of Koolhoven contributed another 0.4 million oz.  The increase was achieved with no changes to the US$1200 per ounce gold price assumption for estimating reserves. The additional reserves extend Rosebel's mine life by five years to 2033, with future average annual production estimated at 318 000 oz on a 100% basis.

President and CEO of IAMGOLD, Steve Letwin, commented: "Saramacca has delivered. Within only a year of confirming the resource, Rosebel has rapidly advanced Saramacca to reserve status and incorporated the additional ounces into the overall LOM plan. I congratulate the exploration and engineering teams for these excellent results and their dedication to moving this project quickly towards production. The significance of this accomplishment stands out at a time when reserve replacement is no longer easy in our industry. In gaining another five years, Rosebel is only half way through its life expectancy of nearly three decades.'' According to IAMGOLD, the inclusion of Saramacca in Rosebel's reserves followed positive results from advanced technical studies jointly led by IAMGOLD, SRK Consulting (Canada) Inc. (SRK) and other consultants. The studies outlined an economically viable project for Saramacca and justified fast tracking the development of the project to achieve a mining start in the second half of 2019. 

Over the last few months, IAMGOLD issued an Environmental and Social Impact Study (ESIA) to the Surinamese environmental regulators to begin the public consultation process.

A technical report summarising the technical studies will be filed on SEDAR within 45 days of the date of this news release.

Saramacca’s future

Saramacca is anticipated to commence mining in the second half of 2019. Due to the fast-track nature of the Saramacca project, ongoing technical studies are reportedly at various levels of advancement, ranging from pre-feasibility to detailed engineering, and construction has been initiated for various elements of the project. Firm orders have been placed for the acquisition of the mining fleet, and the haul road between Saramacca and the current Rosebel concession is currently in the final phases of detailed engineering. Pre-construction preparation activities started earlier this month. 

Ongoing optimisation studies on pit slope dewatering and subsequent slope design improvements will be completed by the end of 2018. Metallurgical recovery optimisation test work and design is to be carried out in the fourth quarter 2018, with the objective to further improve recoveries. Potential mill circuit upgrades will be evaluated as part of this work.   

Drilling will continue to target specific areas of interest within the known pit shell, as well as lateral and at-depth extensions of the deposit. The Rosebel team continues to work at identifying opportunities to further optimise project economics related to the development of the opencast Saramacca mine.

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