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Gold miner IAMGOLD Corporation says that the results of its feasibility study for its Boto gold project in Senegal outline an economically robust, low cost production project which will produce 140 000 ozpa over a 13-year lifespan.

The feasibility study demonstrates a significant economic and operational improvement compared to the pre-feasibility study (PFS) and will be used to support an application for a mining concession in the fourth quarter of 2018.

Project highlights (100% basis)

  • Proven and probable reserves increased by 0.51 Moz to 1.93 Moz grading 1.71 g/t gold
  • Indicated resources (including reserves) of 2.49 Moz grading 1.61 g/t gold
  • Mine Life of 12.8 years with mill throughput of 2.75 Mtpa
  • Life of Mine average annual production of 140 000 oz, averaging 160 000 oz annually during the first six years
  • LOM cash costs of $714/oz and all-in sustaining costs of $753/oz
  • After-tax internal rate of return of 23%, with a payback period of 3.4 years
  • Net present value of US$261 million (6% discount rate) at a gold price of $1 250/oz
  • Initial capital expenditures of $254 million

Steve Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, says:

"Boto Gold has evolved from a grass roots exploration discovery to a robust development project with nearly 2 Moz in reserves. I congratulate the team for their success in improving the project economics by as much as they have.”

“The 23% after-tax IRR and the 151% increase in the NPV at a lower gold price assumption are marked improvements from those reported in the pre-feasibility study. While a final investment decision is yet to be made, and there is still permitting work to be done, we're looking at a high-value project that adds to IAMGOLD's already impressive growth profile."

The feasibility study was completed jointly by IAMGOLD and Lycopodium Minerals Canada, with inputs from technical studies completed by specialist consultants.

Mining and processing

The feasibility study confirms the preferred development approach to be a conventional truck and shovel open pit mining operation with a mineral processing circuit incorporating primary crushing, grinding, and cyanide leaching, followed by gold recovery using carbon-in-pulp, stripping and electrowinning.

Open pit mining includes approximately 14 Mt of waste stripping and 2 Mt of ore stockpiling in pre-production mining during a 15-month pre-production period followed by 12.8 years of production mining along with stockpile reclaim.  Maximum mining rate is 33 Mtpa.  The LOM stripping ratio is 5.8:1.

Future work

The feasibility study will be used to support an application for a mining concession to be submitted in the fourth quarter of 2018, with approval expected in the first half of 2019.

In the interim, the project team will continue to optimise aspects of the project design and complete an infrastructure condemnation drilling programme.

The exploration team has worked to consolidate additional exploration concessions near the Boto gold project, and will conduct ongoing exploration to expand resources in proximity to the resource pits, and identify and evaluate high priority exploration targets for additional mineral resources.