Iamgold cuts guidance on Westwood mine halt

Essakane gold mine, Burkina Faso. (Image courtesy of IAMGOLD)

Canada’s Iamgold (TSX IMG), (NYSE: IAG) has once again lowered its production targets for the year after suspending operations this week at its Westwood underground mine in southwestern Québec, Canada, following an earthquake.

The Toronto-based miner now expects output to be in the range of 630,000 ounces to 680,000 ounces.

The company had reviewed its annual guidance down in March to 700,000 and 760,000 ounces. It further lowered it in May to 685,000-740,000 ounces as it faced headwinds from the covid-19 crisis and, in August, cut it to 645,000-700,000 ounces of gold.

Iamgold said operations at Westwood remained suspended, but noted the mill would restart operations in the next few days.

Lower production at Westwood and higher royalties resulted in Iamgold revising upwards its all-in sustaining cost (AISC) guidance for the year to between $1,240 and $1,270 per ounce.

The company said it churned out 159,000 ounces of gold in the three months to September 30 at an AISC of $1,206 per ounce

Iamgold also completed a new bond issuance in the quarter. The move lowered its interest costs, extended the maturity to 2028 and enhanced its financial flexibility with a cash balance of about $900 million, it said.

Progress at Côté

The miner, which operates in Burkina Faso, Suriname and Canada, said project engineering at the Côté gold project, in Ontario, was 66% complete.

The project, a 70/30 joint venture between Iamgold and Sumitomo Metal Mining, has the potential to produce 460,000 ounces of gold a year.

The miner also noted it continued de-risking activities at the Boto project, in Senegal, where the mining license was granted in January.

Iamgold said is advancing engineering, building access infrastructure, and progressing with environmental and social programs to support the project development.

Boto is expected to produce an average of 160,000 ounces of gold per year during the first six years of operations, averaging 130,000 ounces of gold annually.

The miner expects fourth-quarter production to be underpinned by Essakane, in Burkina Faso, and by Saramacca’s contribution to Rosebel.

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