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TSX-listed gold miner IAMGOLD Corporation’s has announced a significant increase to its mineral resource estimate on its 100% owned Diakha - Siribaya gold project in western Mali.

The new estimate comprises 18 Mt of indicated resources averaging 1.28 g/t for 744 000 oz and a further 23.2 Mt of inferred resources averaging 1.58 g/t for 1.2 Moz.

The Siribaya project is wholly owned by IAMGOLD and consists of eight contiguous exploration permits which cover a total area of 596.5 km², located in the Kédougou-Kéniéba inlier of the West African Craton region of western Mali along the borders with Senegal and Guinea.

At Diakha, the largest deposit discovered to date on the property, gold mineralisation occurs within an albitized and locally brecciated sandstone unit similar to that hosting mineralisation at IAMGOLD's Boto gold project located in Senegal approximately 10 km to the north along strike.

A recently completed feasibility study on the Boto gold project has demonstrated an attractive future development project.

Craig MacDougall, Senior Vice President, Exploration for IAMGOLD, states:

"Our delineation drilling programme completed over the last two years has not only resulted in a significant increase in resource ounces, but a substantial conversion of inferred resources to an indicated category.”

“Our exploration success at Diakha, coupled with the recently announced results of our feasibility study across the border at our nearby Boto gold project in Senegal, continues to demonstrate the exploration upside of our very prospective land holdings in this region of West Africa.”

The mineral resource estimate for the Diakha - Siribaya project incorporates assay results from 474 diamond and reverse circulation drill holes totaling nearly 73 000 m completed at the Diakha deposit, and 702 diamond and RC drill holes, totaling approximately 94 000 m completed at the Zone 1B and Taya Ko zones and along trend.

The estimate was prepared using a block model constrained with 3D wireframes of the principal mineralised domains. Values for gold were interpolated into blocks using a 2-pass inverse distance cubed (ID3) interpolation method for the Diakha deposit and inverse distance squared (ID2) for the Zone 1B - Taya Ko deposits.

A preliminary open pit optimisation algorithm was run on the estimated grade block model to constrain the resource and to support the CIM requirement that mineral resources have 'reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction.

The resource estimate assumes a long-term gold price of US$1 500/oz. Only mineralisation contained within the preliminary pit shell has been included in the resource estimate.

Next steps

In 2019, exploration and evaluation activities will continue, with approximately 10 000 m of diamond and reverse circulation drilling planned to target resource expansions at the Diakha deposit and to explore selected priority targets elsewhere on the large property holdings for additional zones of mineralisation.