Iamgold declared commercial production at its Westwood underground mine in the Abitibi region of southwest Quebec on July 31. The mine hoisted ore at an average of 1,075 metric tons per day (mt/d) for the first 30 days of July.
The Westwood mine is operated within Iamgold's Doyon division, which previously operated the Doyon and Mouska mines. Production at the Doyon mine ended in late 2009, and production at the Mouska mine ended in early 2014.
The Westwood mine is located 2.5 km east of the Doyon mine. The Doyon carbon-in-pulp plant has been refurbished to process Westwood ore.
Iamgold is continuing to optimize Westwood operations. Life-of-mine production profiles under study range from 165,000 to 180,000 oz/y of gold at average cash costs of between $630 and $690/oz.
While mine production is ramping up at Westwood, the Doyon plant will utilize spare capacity to process up to 192,000 mt/y of ore from the neighboring Granada property of Gold Bullion Development Corp.
"The Westwood mine continues our 30-year legacy of underground mining in the Abitibi region," said Iamgold Senior Vice President and COO Gordon Stothart. "The development and operations teams have worked together well and are achieving excellent mine development rates of more than 1,400 m/month.
"From the initiation of exploration starting in 2002 to December 2013, a total of 540,484 m of diamond drilling has been completed at Westwood, during which the overall resource estimate has been very stable and the average grade has steadily increased. This gives us a high degree of confidence in the future of this mine."