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Zijin to buy Rosebel from Iamgold for $360 million

The Rosebel gold mine is located in the mineral rich Brokopondo district in north eastern Suriname. (Image courtesy of IAMGOLD.)

Canada’s Iamgold Corp. (TSX: IMG)(NYSE: IAG) said on Tuesday it had agreed to sell its stake in the Rosebel gold mine in Suriname to Zijin Mining in a deal valued at $360 million.

The Chinese miner will acquire Iamgold’s 95% interest in Rosebel Gold Mines, which owns the Rosebel operation and a 70% participating interest in the Saramacca mine, a satellite for Rosebel.

Zijin is also assuming Iamgold’s equipment lease liabilities amounting to about $41 million.

The Toronto-based miner revealed in January it was evaluating options for Rosebel and said the mine required a material capital investment to address certain challenges.

Iamgold said the proceeds of the sale would be invested in the ongoing construction of the Côté Gold project in Canada, which is $1.9 billion over its original cost estimate of between $879 million and $925 million. The company’s share of the cost overrun is $1.3 billion.

Côté is expected to produce an average of 489,000 ounces of gold a year in its first five years and an annual average of 367,000 ounces over 18 years of its planned mine-life. It would be the company’s fourth mine.

Chairperson and interim CEO Maryse Bélanger said that the transaction with Zijin was a significant step forward in pursuing Iamgold’s strategy of disciplined portfolio management.

“Rosebel has been an important contributor to Iamgold and we are pleased that a company with the capabilities and reputation of Zijin will be taking over this operation,” she said.

The transaction is expected to close early in the first quarter of 2023 or earlier, subject to closing conditions being met.