IAMGOLD has announced attributable gold production of 813 000 oz for 2016 in its preliminary operating results for the year - above guidance of 770 000 - 800 000 oz.

The TSX and NYSE-listed gold company achieved fourth quarter production of 215 000 oz.

For 2016 its total cash costs were within guidance of $740 to $770/oz, all-in sustaining costs of $ 1050 to $1100/oz, capital expenditure of about $280 million and approximately $750 million in cash at the end of last year.

IAMGOLD president and CEO Steve Letwin said: “With gold production increasing in each consecutive quarter of 2016, we had a strong finish to the year: strong operating performance lifted production above guidance to 813 000 oz.

“In fact, production at all sites exceeded guidance given and Westwood’s achievement of ambitious underground development targets was outstanding – it has positioned the mine to nearly double production in 2017.”

Letwin added that IAMGOLD expected cash costs and all-in sustaining costs to be within guidance, reflecting continued success with optimising the mine’s performance and improving productivity.

“The year 2016 was pivotal for IAMGOLD, as strong operating performance and the achievement of critical milestones have positioned us for growth,” said Letwin.

IAMGOLD’s strategy is to capitalise on organic growth opportunities at all of its mines and a balance sheet that enables it to internally fund its growth.

“We are confident that by 2020 we can take production to 1 Moz and reduce all-in sustaining costs by 15%. We expect production in 2017 to increase by 4-9% from last year with all-in sustaining costs ranging between $1000 and $1 080/oz.”

Looking forward to 2017, IAMGOLD expects attributable gold production to reach between 845 000 and 885 000 oz. Total cash costs are expected to range between $740 and $780/oz, all-in sustaining costs to be from $1 000 to $1 080/oz and capital expenditure is expected to total $250 million.