IAMGOLD Officially Opens its Essakane Mine in Burkina Faso
Friday, October 8th, 2010
IAMGOLD Corporation (TSX:IMG)(NYSE:IAG)(BOTSWANA:IAMGOLD) officially opened its new Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso (in West Africa) with a ceremonial pour. The event was attended by senior government officials, including The Honourable 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. The Essakane gold mine is a cornerstone of IAMGOLD’s million-ounce platform for future growth. Among all of IAMGOLD’s mines, Essakane 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,” said Peter C. Jones, President and Chief Executive Officer.
Mr. Jones emphasized 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 from the government of Burkina Faso and the Burkinabe people in 2010, the 50th year of Burkina Faso’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 for this 1,283 square kilometre land package.”
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.