What’s Next for Iamgold’s Exploration Program?
Saramacca’s upside potential
There’s a significant upside potential for expansion as Iamgold’s (IAG) Saramacca deposit remains open along a strike in both directions as well as in depth.
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Iamgold now plans to follow up a drilling program to do the following:
- convert inferred resources to indicated resources
- target expansions to the existing resource along known mineralization trends and at a depth
- evaluate identified exploration targets for the presence of additional mineralized zones
The Rosebel mine team is also working to advance the Saramacca deposit toward production.
But before Iamgold starts any construction or mining activities at Saramacca, it will have to acquire the appropriate regulatory approvals and permits. One of the fundamental elements in securing permits is the ESIA (Environmental and Social Impact Study). This process has been underway for a few months, and the company expects it to continue into the first half of next year. IAG expects all preliminary work to be completed by the middle of 2018.
As for development, Iamgold will continue to do more in-depth engineering related to all necessary elements for the development of Saramacca, which will help feed Saramacca ore into the Rosebel mine. Preparation for this stage includes transport options, access roads, and waste rock disposal.
As Rosebel is just 25 kilometers from the Saramacca deposit, the company believes that rail haulage might be the best option. Those tradeoffs, however, continue.
After years of under investing precious metal miners have increased their exploration expenditures. To be sure, IAG peers (GDX) (GDXJ) Hecla Mining (HL), Coeur Mining (CDE), and First Majestic Silver (AG) have all increased their exploration and capital expenditures significantly.