IAMGOLD resumes operations at gold mine in Suriname

The Rosebel gold mine is located in the mineral rich Brokopondo district in north eastern Suriname, a former Dutch colony, in South America. (Image courtesy of IAMGOLD.)

Canada’s IAMGOLD Corp. (TSX IMG), (NYSE: IAG) has resumed mining operations in the southern pits of its Rosebel gold mine, in Suriname, with full ramp up expected in about a month.

Mine development activities at its 70:30 Saramacca joint venture (JV) project with the government of Suriname have also restarted, the company said.

Operations in the northern pits resumed at the end of August.

The Toronto-based firm had halted work at the mine early last month, following an incident involving police that caused the death of an artisanal miner and left some equipment unusable.

Company had halted work at the mine early last month, following an incident involving police that caused the death of an artisanal miner and left some equipment unusable.

Shortly after, it laid off 325 contractors for the South American mine and lowered its production forecast for the year to between 765,000 to 810,000 ounces of gold, to reflect the operation’s halt.

IAMGOLD said on Monday it was hiring back the dismissed workers and that has reached an agreement with the local community, enabling the haul of Saramacca ore to the mine’s mill in early November.

Rosebel, located in the mineral rich Brokopondo district, about 85 km south of the capital city of Paramaribo, has often been a target for illegal miners. This has led the company to allow some artisanal miners to work on the concession.

The Canadian company owns 95% of the gold mine and the government of Suriname holds the remaining 5%. 

IAMGOLD made headlines last week as China Gold International Resource said the Canadian miner would “fit well” with its acquisition strategy.

Following the highly publicized multi-billion mergers of Barrick – Randgold and Newmont – Goldcorp, rising gold prices have spurred an anticipated wave of consolidation in the sector, which has favoured Canada and Australia.

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