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Iamgold halts activities at Westwood mine

Westwood gold mine in Canada. (Image courtesy of IAMGOLD)

Iamgold(TSX: IMG) has placed its Westwood mine on care and maintenance in compliance with the Québec and Ontario provincial directives intended to help reduce the transmission of coronavirus, the company announced on Tuesday.

On Monday, the government of Québec advised that all non-essential businesses must close effective one minute after midnight March 25 and remain closed until April 13, 2020. This directive includes mines and processing plants.

On the same day, the government of Ontario advised that all non-essential businesses must close effective midnight March 24, 2020 and remain closed for at least two weeks.

Activities at the Côté gold project in Ontario are not impacted by the Ontario directive, the company said, as mining, exploration and development have been deemed “essential” activities in the province.

The Essakane mine in Burkina Faso and Rosebel mine in Suriname continue to operate, though both sites are moving into self-confinement this week in order to better protect the employees and communities and to support the continuity of the operations.

The company’s 2020 guidance is now under review and may change if the cessation timelines are protracted, the Toronto-based gold miner said, adding that it currently has $830 million in cash and cash equivalents to allocate.