IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX: IMG) (NYSE: IAG) announces preliminary operating results for the fourth quarter and year-end 2020, as well as guidance for 2021.
Gordon Stothart, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, commented, “We achieved our target production and cost guidance in 2020 in the face of many and varied challenges throughout the year. Essakane had its strongest quarter at the end of the year, Rosebel production was up quarter-over-quarter and Westwood contributed by processing stockpile and Grand Duc open pit ore. Looking forward, IAMGOLD’s unique growth platform will enable our transformation to a lower cost producer of over one million ounces of annual production within the next two-and-a-half years. Our North American platform will see focused execution on the ongoing construction at the Côté Gold Project and we additionally expect to complete a maiden resource estimate at the nearby Gosselin discovery, with further advanced exploration at the Nelligan / Monster Lake district. We are developing our West African platform through ongoing de-risking at the Boto Gold Project in Senegal, and through the exploration and evaluation of nearby deposits and new discoveries, along with satellite targets anchored by the Rosebel mine at our South American platform.”
Performance Highlights for 2020
Guidance Highlights for 2021
2020 PRELIMINARY OPERATING RESULTS
Full year attributable production of 653,000 ounces was in-line with the mid-point of production guidance of 630,000 to 680,000 ounces. Attributable gold production for the fourth quarter 2020 was 169,000 ounces.
The following table presents attributable production by operating site:
|ATTRIBUTABLE GOLD PRODUCTION|
|(000s oz)||Q1 2020||Q2 2020||Q3 2020||Q4 2020||2020
|Essakane (90%)||84||83||94||103||364||350 – 370|
|Rosebel (95%)||64||52||42||52||210||210 – 230|
|Westwood (100%)||22||20||23||14||79||70 – 80|
|Total||170||155||159||169||653||630 – 680|
Total cash costs for 2020 are expected at the bottom end of guidance of $980 to $1,010 per ounce produced, and all-in sustaining costs are expected to be at the bottom end of guidance of $1,240 to $1,270 per ounce sold.
2021 PRODUCTION AND COST OUTLOOK
|IAMGOLD Full Year Attributable Guidance1||2021|
|Essakane (000s oz)||365 – 390|
|Rosebel (000s oz)||220 – 245|
|Westwood (000s oz)||45 – 65|
|Total attributable production (000s oz)||630 – 700|
|Cost of sales2 ($/oz)||$980 – $1,030|
|Total cash costs3,4 ($/oz)||$930 – $980|
|All-in sustaining costs3,4 ($/oz)||$1,230 – $1,280|
As noted in the above table, our production guidance of 630,000 to 700,000 ounces reflects assumptions for Westwood subject to a business continuity assessment as well as lower ore availability and higher planned stripping at Rosebel. The global COVID-19 crisis is expected to continue to affect our operations, including incremental costs and productivity impacts. While the precise impact continues to evolve, the impact could be significant in future periods, affecting our guidance for future years.
All-in sustaining cost guidance of $1,230 to $1,280 per ounce for 2021 reflects ongoing efforts to improve productivity and optimize performance across all the sites. Readers are reminded that the guidance we provide is annual and that quarterly variation is normal.
2021 CAPITAL EXPENDITURE OUTLOOK
|Total Operating Mines||$||120||$||175||$||295|
|Côté Gold Project (70%)||–||355||355|
|Boto Gold Project||–||60||60|
In 2021, we expect capital spending to be $710 million ± 5%. The increase in spending over 2020 reflects Côté construction spending primarily focused on major earthworks and infrastructure, expected higher capitalized stripping at both Essakane and Rosebel as a result of COVID-19 related impacts in 2020 on life-of-mine pit sequencing and Boto de-risking activities. Detailed development project updates are expected to be provided with fourth quarter 2020 operating and financial results on February 17th, 2021.
Rosebel’s non-sustaining capital of $75 million includes the completion of non-critical path items related to Saramacca construction, targeted for completion in the first half of 2021, and non-sustaining capitalized stripping of $45 million. Essakane’s non-sustaining capital of $90 million primarily comprises $65 million in capitalized stripping for future production and the completion of the mill optimization project, targeted for completion early in the second quarter of 2021. Westwood’s non-sustaining capital of $10 million is primarily for underground development.
Sustaining capital guidance of $120 million and is expected to be higher than the amount expended in 2020. Total sustaining capitalized stripping of $10 million is included in sustaining capital and is also expected to be slightly higher than in 2020. Both increases reflect resequencing of activities from 2020.
2021 EXPLORATION PLAN
Through our ongoing commitment to a sustained and disciplined exploration program, we have established a track record of discovery and resource delineation that we expect will continue to increase our Mineral Resources and support our goal of not only sustaining, but growing, Mineral Reserves in the future.
In 2021, planned exploration program spending (excluding project studies) will total $56 million on both our near-mine brownfield and greenfield exploration programs. Brownfield programs will continue to focus on resource conversion at all our operational sites, as well as evaluate associated regional targets to identify and delineate, as required, potential new satellite resources to sustain future production, including advancing the “Hub and Spoke” operational concept for Westwood at the Fayolle and Rouyn Gold projects in Quebec.
Our greenfield program will continue to focus on the delineation and expansion of existing resources at our development and advanced resource stage projects including: the Gosselin zone at the Côté Gold Project in northern Ontario, the Diakha deposit and Karita discovery near the Boto Gold Project as part of our Bambouk regional program in West Africa, and at the Nelligan Gold Project in Quebec. In addition, we continue to explore for new discoveries in our industry leading portfolio of advanced to early-stage Greenfield projects.
|2020 Actual||2021 Plan|
|Exploration – greenfield1||$||–||$||20||$||20||$||–||$||33||$||33|
|Exploration – brownfield2||8||8||16||13||10||23|
IAMGOLD is a mid-tier mining company with three gold mines on three continents, including the Essakane mine in Burkina Faso, the Rosebel mine in Suriname, and the Westwood mine in Canada. A solid base of strategic assets is complemented by the Côté Gold construction project in Canada, the Boto Gold development project in Senegal, as well as greenfield and brownfield exploration projects in various countries located in West Africa and the Americas. IAMGOLD aims to become a million-ounce gold producer as it executes on its growth strategy, including bringing Côté Gold, its fourth mine, online.
IAMGOLD is committed to maintaining its culture of accountable mining through high standards of ESG practices and employs approximately 5,000 people. IAMGOLD’s commitment is to Zero Harm, in every aspect of its business. IAMGOLD is one of the companies on the JSI index.
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