Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 08 October 2010 – IAMGOLD Corporation “’ a leading mid-tier gold mining company producing approximately one million ounces annually from 8 gold mines on 3 continents “’ has officially opened its new Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso with a ceremonial pour.
The event was attended by senior government officials, including Burkina Faso Prime Minister Tertius Zongo, IAMGOLD senior management and other stakeholders from across the region.
“Today’s ceremony marks an important milestone in IAMGOLD’s and Burkina Faso’s history,” said company president and CEO Peter Jones. “The Essakane gold mine is a cornerstone of IAMGOLD’s million-ounce platform for future growth, and among all of our mines, it is the first project to be advanced from early development stages into a mining operation. It is also the largest private foreign investment to date in Burkina Faso, and we are confident that it will provide significant benefits to all stakeholders,” he added.
Jones emphasised that, “this event is the result of over 20 years of partnership between IAMGOLD and our West African partners, and we are honoured to celebrate the occasion with representatives of the government of Burkina Faso and the Burkinabe people in 2010, the 50th year of the country’s independence. We believe that the start-up of this gold plant is just the beginning for Essakane, due to our confidence in the potential to expand the mineral reserves that this mine has,” he continued.
Essakane is 90% owned by IAMGOLD, with the Government of Burkina Faso holding the remaining 10%. The operation is expected to produce more than 500 000 ounces of gold from start-up through to the end of 2011.
Essakane reached commercial production in mid-July 2010, well ahead of schedule and on budget.