IAMGOLD Corp. completed its first gold pour at the Côté gold mine, located in Ontario, Canada. Côté Gold is a joint venture between IAMGOLD, as the operator, and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., Ltd.

“I am delighted to announce that Côté Gold achieved the milestone of first gold pour, less than 90 days since the start of the pre-commissioning activities,” said Renaud Adams, president and CEO of IAMGOLD. “With Côté Gold online, IAMGOLD now has three operating mines, joining Essakane in Burkina Faso and Westwood in Quebec, Canada. This achievement represents the culmination of over 15 million hours of work over four years of construction – an incredible effort for the team on the ground as the project cost to first gold remains in line with the updated budget estimate while maintaining a near impeccable safety record. Further, I want to thank our partner Sumitomo for their continued support and dedication. This achievement is monumental for the Côté team, IAMGOLD, Sumitomo and for the gold mining industry itself.”

The company said that commissioning activities at Côté have been progressing well, with performance achieved in the crushing, HPGR and processing circuits within expectations, including power consumption. With first gold now achieved, the next step and focus for IAMGOLD is on the ramp up of the operation to commercial production in the third quarter towards the goal of exiting the year at a 90% throughput rate. Production guidance from Côté this year, on a 100% basis, is unchanged at 220,000 to 290,000 ounces (oz) of gold, assuming the remaining milestones are achieved.

At steady run-rate, Côté Gold is expected to be within the largest operating gold mines in Canada with an expected mine life exceeding 18 years and significant opportunities for growth. On a project level, combining the Côté and Gosselin deposits, Côté has a total estimated measured and indicated mineral resource of 16.5 million oz with an additional 4.2 million oz of inferred resources, putting the project in exclusive company of large-scale Canadian assets.

“Côté is positioned as an innovation leader in our industry as the first gold mining project in North America designed and built for a fully automated haulage fleet,” Adams said. “Automation not only brings significant benefits in health and safety and operating efficiencies but is a considerable step forward in the evolution of modern mining and the skilled workforce of tomorrow. Further, this is just the beginning for Côté, as we believe the project is the start of what will ultimately turn into a new mining district that will be a mining hub for decades to come.”