Iamgold, the gold-mining outfit that operates Mupane Mine outside Francistown, this week revealed it has had a good start to 2009 and has updated production guidance.
The Botswana Stock Exchange (BSE) and Toronto Stock Exchange quoted miner said it expected full year gold production for 2009 to be 910,000 to 920,000 ounces at average cash cost of between US $460 and US $470 per ounce.
Other assumptions used in the updated 2009 guidance include a gold price of US $900 per ounce and a fuel price of US $55 per barrel.
The increased gold production guidance, the company said, reflects productivity increases at Rosebel and the extended life of the Doyon mine into Q3 2009, partly offset by lower grades at Mupane.
The Chief Executive Officer of Iamgold, Joseph Conway, revealed that the miner has had an excellent start to 2009 with outstanding productivity improvements at its mines.
“We are extremely pleased to announce this improved production guidance with lower cash costs,” explained Conway.
“We will continue to pursue opportunities to optimize our operations and development projects for the remainder of 2009. We have already announced investments to improve cash flows from Niobec, our niobium mine in Quebec and we are working to achieve significant improvements at our joint venture mines in West Africa,” he said.
The company also said full year niobium production from the Niobec mine is expected to be 4,200 to 4,400 tonnes with operating margins of between US $20 and US $22 per kilogram.
Capital expenditures are expected to be US $448 million for 2009 while green fields’ exploration expenditures remain forecast at US $34 million for 2009.
Niobium production from the Niobec mine is now forecast at approximately 4,200 to 4,400 tonnes for 2009. The slight decrease from previous production guidance primarily reflects slightly lower grades and recoveries due to higher silica content in the ore.
The Niobec operating margin is now expected in the US $20 to US $22 per kilogram range. This increase in operating margin guidance primarily reflects favourable aluminium input prices and improved confidence in the niobium price for the remainder of 2009.
Iamgold has producing operations in the African continent and exploration projects in South and North America.