"All eyes are on Côté Gold, which is positioned to become the third-largest gold mine in Canada with a mine life of over 18 years and considerable potential for further growth."

Renaud Adams


February 16, 2024

Can you provide an overview of IAMGOLD's performance in 2023?

Last year marked a significant transformation for IAMGOLD, with a strategic focusing of the company on our primary operating jurisdictions, an improved balance sheet, and significant progress at our Côté Gold project located between Timmins and Sudbury, Ontario. All eyes are on Côté Gold, which is positioned to become the third-largest gold mine in Canada with a mine life of over 18 years and considerable potential for further growth. 

One of the major highlights was reaching the 95% completion mark for the Côté Gold project by the end of 2023, with pre-commissioning now underway towards first gold early this year. This achievement positions IAMGOLD as a leading Canadian-focused gold producer at the leading edge of modern open-pit operations. More importantly, IAMGOLD continued its focus on achieving zero harm, with a notable achievement in Burkina Faso where the Total Recordable Incident Frequency Rate (TRIFR) was below 0.2%, well below North American averages.

The Westwood underground mine, which had faced seismic challenges in the past, saw substantial improvements in 2023. A new approach to mining and seismic controls resulted in successful testing and performance that exceeded guidance. This demonstrated the company's ability to operate safely and efficiently in the long term. 

Can you discuss the deployment of autonomous vehicles and rigs at Côté Gold?

Initiating open-pit gold operations with autonomous trucks at Côté Gold was a pioneering move. Despite initial doubts, it has proven to be a resounding success. The deployment addresses labor intensity challenges in open-pit mining, and by eliminating some human factors, we significantly reduce non-operating delays. Over time, we anticipate achieving higher overall efficiencies. We have also embarked on automating our drills, which improves safety at the site. 

The trend toward autonomous technology in mining is exciting, and I anticipate a growing number of developers and producers embracing it. At Côté Gold, we have led the way by implementing autonomous operations from day one, achieving impressive precision in all haulage tasks. This success signals a promising future for widespread adoption across the industry.

Can you outline the ramp-up plan for the Côté Gold project, and share your perspective on how the current inflationary environment and high gold prices may impact the project?

In 2024, we have outlined four significant milestones for Côté Gold. The first milestone is the goal for initial production before the end of the first quarter, this is crucial for validating the engineering aspects and project systems. We are on target for this milestone. The second milestone involves achieving consistent commercial production, maintaining 60% capacity for 30 consecutive days. The third milestone will be achieving 90% nameplate capacity by the end of the year. The fourth milestone involves unlocking the potential of the Gosselin deposit, contributing to a global resource base that has the potential to exceed 20 million oz Au and extend the mine life well beyond 20 years, making it one of Canada's largest gold mines.

Regarding inflation and cost-of-debt, we have strategically approached financing with flexibility in mind. While we have taken a US$400 million term loan with a higher interest rate, it is replaceable as we strengthen the company's position. Our confidence lies in the ability to improve our balance sheet, credit ratings, and cash flow, offering opportunities for debt reduction and growth. The goal is to avoid being stuck with a permanent financial structure. As for the impact of gold prices and inflation, the gold mining sector has seen increased costs over the last decade. However, with a current gold price exceeding US$2,000/oz and the benefit of a favorable currency exchange, coupled with our integration of technology, we remain optimistic about the project's future. 

Could you discuss your inaugural climate action report and share a final message?

Our first climate report showcased our unwavering commitment to sustainability, aligning with our core value of zero harm. We set a clear target of a 30% reduction in emissions by 2030, with a focus on continuous improvement and technology integration. 

We extend our gratitude to all our stakeholders. Our strategic shift towards becoming a major player in Canada reflects our dedication to excellence in mining.


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