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IAMGOLD’s 2019 production falls short, CEO to retire

Rosebel mine was temporarily shut in early August after a clash between illegal miners and police. (Image courtesy of IAMGOLD)

Canada’s IAMGOLD Corp. (TSX IMG), (NYSE: IAG) announced Thursday that chief executive officer Stephen Letwin will retire at the end of February after a decade at the company, with the post to be assumed by the current president and chief operating officer (COO) Gordon Stothart.

The news comes on the same day the Toronto-based miner posted preliminary operating results for 2019, which show output fell short of IAMGOLD’s target for the year.

Attributable gold production last year reached 762,000 gold ounces, compared to the 765,000 to 810,000 ounces the company expected. Fourth quarter output totalled 192,000 ounces.

CEO Stephen Letwin will retire at the end of February. Current President and COO, Gordon Stothart, will assume the post

Upcoming CEO Stothart warned that 2020 would be a year of transition for the miner, as the focus is on the future of Essakane and Rosebel, continued development of Westwood and bringing its 70:30 Saramacca joint venture (JV) project with the government of Suriname up to full production.

IAMGOLD halted work at Rosebel, also in Suriname, in August, 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 operations halt.

The company, however, ended up re-hiring the workers after reaching an agreement with the local community, which allowed it to resume operations.

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.

Looking forward, IAMGOLD expects to produce between 700,000 and 760,000 ounces of gold in 2020, which reflects no output at Sadiola, which is in the process of being acquired by Australia’s Allied Gold Corp.