Precious Metals

IAMGOLD Corporation today announced positive results from a pre-feasibility Study (PFS) for its Essakane Heap Leach project in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG) today announced positive results from a pre-feasibility Study (PFS) for its Essakane Heap Leach project in Burkina FasoWest Africa. The results, which outline an economically viable project, justify the commencement of a feasibility Study (FS) to further optimize the project development design, secure long lead equipment and improve project economics.

Highlights are as follows:

Pre-feasibility study:

  • Probable Reserves increased by 39 percent, or 1.3 million ounces, to 4.7 million ounces.
  • Indicated Resources increased by 19 percent, or 0.8 million ounces, to 5.1 million ounces.
  • Inferred Resources increased by 54 percent, or 0.2 million ounces, to 0.6 million ounces.
  • Mine Life of 8.5 years (2018-2026) with mill throughput of 12.0 million tonnes per annum and heap leach throughput of 10.0 million tonnes per annum (2020-2026).
  • Mine life extended by three years from the LOM reported in the 2016 Technical Report, with potential to extend further with the FS and the drilling of prospective satellite prospects near Essakane.
  • Average annual production increases by 16 percent to 480,000 ounces versus previously disclosed plan, once heap leach is operational.
  • Peak annual production exceeding 500,000 ounces.
  • LOM cash costs of US$707 per ounce and all-in sustaining costs of US$946 per ounce.
  • Heap Leach initial capital expenditures of US$155 million.

As quoted in the press release:

The infill drilling program, conducted to upgrade targeted lower-grade inferred resources in support of the Heap Leach PFS, intersected higher grades than anticipated in several areas. The impact of these results is still being assessed and may provide potential to outline additional zones of higher-grade mineralization for processing at the existing carbon-in-leach (“CIL”) plant. The drilling campaign is continuing and the results will be used to complete the delineation of both the lower-grade heap leach and higher-grade CIL mineralization to optimize the development options as part of the recommended FS.

Steve Letwin, president & CEO, commented:

I applaud the Essakane team. Not only have they introduced a new processing method that allows for economic incremental production, their success at the drill bit has delivered a resource increase far greater than what we expected. While we knew that heap leaching had the potential to unlock additional reserves, we were positively surprised at, and benefited from, intercepting higher grades, which account for more than one-third of the 39 percent increase.

Essakane is pursuing all avenues for enhancing the value of this already high-performing operation, including targeting additional resources from Essakane’s large, prospective land package. Stay tuned for an initial resource estimate for the Gossey prospect in the fourth quarter of this year. With these positive results and the future work we have planned, we are targeting a mine life beyond 2030 and AISC below US$900 an ounce.

Click here to read the full IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG) press release.


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