IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG)(NYSE:IAG) today announced the results of an independently prepared NI 43-101 compliant preliminary economic assessment (“PEA”) on the company’s wholly-owned Niobec niobium mine in the province of Quebec, Canada. The PEA shows a significant increase in the measured, indicated and inferred mineral resource estimates at Niobec with the potential for a significant production expansion. The PEA examined the impact of changing the existing underground mine to an alternative bulk mining method. IAMGOLD technical personnel then compared the economics of the open pit scenario and a block caving scenario. The work done on the PEA and the study will be advanced in a 2011 pre-feasibility study to confirm the potential upside of Niobec.
“Niobec is a unique and highly attractive asset for IAMGOLD, as it is the only North American producer of niobium and one of only three producers globally. Early in 2011, we initiated a strategic plan to unlock the value of Niobec and our other assets for which the market was not attributing fair value,” said Steve Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD.
“The results of this study demonstrate the value of Niobec and confirm our belief in its long-term potential. The niobium margins estimated in the study are consistent on a percentage basis with the realized margins from our gold business, making Niobec analogous to over 20 million ounces of gold equivalent resources. Concurrent to the study we have been exploring opportunities to monetize the value of the asset. We have also identified several high-value rare earth elements that could further enhance the value of Niobec.”
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