TORONTO — Iamgold Corp. says it is going ahead with its US$1.3-billion Cote Gold mine in northern Ontario as world gold prices reached nine-year highs over US$1,830 per ounce.

Construction of the project, which is 30 per cent owned by Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., will start this summer with preparatory work including fish salvage, camp preparation and road access development.

The project is expected to generate more than 1,000 jobs during 32 months of construction and 450 operations jobs when it opens in the second half of 2023 with a mine life estimated at 18 years.

Iamgold CEO Gordon Stothart says the project is “transformational” for the company, noting it has estimated gold reserves of over seven million ounces along with exploration potential.

The company’s shares rose by 5.5 per cent or 34 cents to a to a new 52-week high of $6.56 at midday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

National Bank analyst Mike Parkin says in a report the mine approval was widely anticipated, adding the project is expected to be a “cornerstone asset” for Iamgold.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 21, 2020.

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