All amounts are expressed in US dollars, unless otherwise indicated.
TSX: IMG NYSE: IAG
TORONTO, Feb. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - IAMGOLD Corporation ("IAMGOLD" or the "Company") today announced that it has declared an inferred resource of 466.8 million tonnes at a grade of 1.65% Total Rare Earth Oxides ("TREO") as a result of its 2011 exploration drilling program conducted on the rare earth elements ("REE") zone adjacent to its Niobec niobium mine near Saguenay, Quebec, Canada.
Steve Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, stated, "I am so proud of our team of employees who have unlocked this valuable deposit of highly prized metals. They have successfully defined the scope and size of a resource that we only guessed at a year ago and is completely unvalued by investors. In terms of developing this resource and bringing it to market, we plan to take the same funding approach as with our self-funded Niobec business. We will explore alternative strategies for developing this resource, such as joint venture partnerships and strategic alliances, which will not impact our gold business.
"While the scoping study will define the exact significance to the REE market, this deposit has the potential to place IAMGOLD among a select group of global REE suppliers to a market where applications for these metals are constantly evolving and expanding. Rare earths are integral to a wide range of fast growing industries and are difficult to substitute. China`s actions to restrict exports to protect supply for its domestic industry has led to a shortage of a number of REEs that are critical to some of the fastest growing markets, including the clean energy sector. Demand for REEs is growing at 9-15% a year, and according to a report by Ernst & Young -Technology Minerals - The rare earths race is on (April 2011), the market value is expected to double in size to a range of $4 billion to $6 billion by 2015."
IAMGOLD`s known rare earth element zone ("REE zone") was last explored in 1985 and is known to host significant rare earth element mineralization. As reported in the Company's 2011 second quarter report, a supplemental exploration program of $2.5 million was approved to drill test the projected extensions of known niobium resources at Niobec, and to explore the REE zone. The REE zone was evaluated with a total of 13,798 metres of diamond drilling in 29 holes including an underground drill hole from the Niobec mine (coordinates and results are attached in Tables 1 and 2).
IAMGOLD's rare earth resource is located one kilometre north of its Niobec mine in the mining friendly jurisdiction of Quebec. "The location of this resource is very conducive to bringing these REEs to market in a timely and cost effective manner," continued Mr. Letwin. "In addition to its close proximity to our existing mine infrastructure at Niobec, the location provides access to a large skilled population, an established and very competitively priced hydro power source, and excellent shipping and distribution options given the existing road and rail infrastructure and close proximity to deep water ports with ocean access. These factors, together with the Company's strong balance sheet, development expertise and excellent community relations provide distinct speed-to-market advantage."
The St Honoré carbonatite complex, which contains the niobium mine and the REE Zone, is a 25 km2 alkaline intrusive complex comprising a carbonatite core that is surrounded by nepheline syenite, feldspathoid syenite and other mafic intrusive phases. The carbonatite core is characterized by a series of concentric lenses of calcitite and dolomitite (cones sheets and ring dykes) that progress inwards from calcitite through dolomitite to ferrocarbonatite. The brecciated core of ferrocarbonatite has an oval shape elongated towards the northeast, and hosts the REE mineralization mainly in the form of REE fluorocarbonates (principally bastnaesite) and monazite. The mineralization occurs within breccia cement and is associated with hematite, chlorite, ferroan dolomite, minor thorite, ilmenorutile and pyrite.
The 2011 drill program conducted by the Company on the REE zone aimed to establish the three dimensional "footprint" of mineralization, provide a preliminary REE grade estimate and provide samples for preliminary metallurgical test work. The campaign was completed on a grid spacing of 100 by 200 metres to programmed drill depths of about 450 metres. Four holes exceeded 700 metres in total length, and to a maximum length of 750 metres. The deeper holes demonstrate that the brecciated and mineralized facies of the REE zone persists uninterrupted at depth, although the resource model is reported only to a depth of 375 metres. Further exploration and infill drilling is expected to extend the resource model well below the current depth parameters, and to the south and southwest. The Company initiated a 2,750 metre follow-up drill campaign in January to further define the lateral extent of the resource and establish the overall limits of REE mineralization with greater certainty. A second phase of drilling is also planned for resource definition and to explore at depth.
Based on these new drilling results, a resource estimate was prepared by Pierre Jean Lafleur, Eng., an independent Qualified Person and principal consultant of P.J. Lafleur Géo-Conseil Inc ("PJLGC") of Ste-Thérèse, Québec. The REE resource corresponds to an enriched zone of Light REEs ("LREE") which is characteristic of this annular carbonatite type. LREEs comprise 98% of the weight of the Total REEs ("TREE"), with the remaining 2% Heavy REEs ("HREE") that could potentially add significant economic value. As indicated in the tables below, the REE zone contains total Inferred Resources of 466.8 Million Tonnes at a grade of 1.65% Total Rare Earth Oxides ("TREO"), including 0.031% Heavy Rare Earth Oxides ("HREO"), to a depth of approximately 375 metres (the surface lies at a reference elevation of 10,000m).
|REE Mineral Resources by Grade Groups||Light REO||Main Heavy REO|
|Grade Groups||Tonnage||% TREO||ppm HREO||Ce2O3||La2O3||Nd2O3||Pr2O3||Sm2O3||Gd2O3||Eu2O3||Dy2O3||Tb2O3|
|% TREO||Million Tonnes||ppm||ppm||ppm||ppm||ppm||ppm||ppm||ppm||ppm|
|2.00 to 2.50||80.0||2.16||407||10359||5300||3978||1137||445||210||91.6||60.1||16.4|
|1.75 to 2.00||123.8||1.87||352||8961||4585||3441||983||385||182||79.3||52.0||14.2|
|1.50 to 1.75||98.0||1.64||308||7845||4014||3013||861||337||159||69.4||45.5||12.4|
|1.00 to 1.50||99.2||1.26||236||6020||3080||2312||661||259||122||53.3||34.9||9.5|
|0.5 to 1.00||52.6||0.81||153||3890||1990||1494||427||167||79||34.4||22.6||6.2|
|Niobec TREO Signature||1.88%||47.9%||24.5%||18.4%||5.26%||2.06%||0.97%||0.42%||0.28%||0.076%|
|REO Mineral Resources by Depth||Light REO||Main Heavy REO|
|DEPTH SLICES||Tonnage||% TREO|| ppm
|Surface at 9975||5.4||1.90||357||9102||4657||3495||999||391||185||80.5||52.8||14.4|
* TREO is for Total Rare Earth Oxides which include La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, and Lu2O3.
** HREO is for Heavy Rare Earth Oxides which include in this table the 4 most important HREE elements, namely Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3 and Dy2O3.
- Results are presented in situ, unconfined and undiluted.
- The average bulk density used is 2.85 g/cm³ and was calculated from specific gravity measurements taken from core samples.
- Resource modeling used 6,731 samples from the 2011 drill program with 54 elements assayed (with re-assays for high grade samples). 564 samples from 1985 historical surface drilling program were also incorporated although 21 elements were assayed in the earlier programs instead of 54. A further 422 samples were incorporated from historic surface drill holes that were assayed only for La2O3; TREO values were recalculated from the elemental ratios established by the 2011 program.
- 5m composites were utilized throughout.
- Variography indicates total cumulative grade variance is about 22% at very short range (1m to 2 m), 55% within 20m, and 100% up to 200m.
- The estimated mineral resources have been modeled using a 10-metre cubic block model and grades were estimated using Ordinary Kriging. All the blocks were estimated using a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 25 (5m) composites. The Inverse Distance Square interpolation method was used only for comparison with Kriging.
The estimated resource is enclosed within the core breccias of the carbonatite complex. The near surface "footprint" of mineralization has been confirmed in three directions in 2011. Drilling planned in early 2012 should confirm the known outline to the south. Given the narrow range (approximately 1% to 2%) of grade values in the block model and the wide drill hole spacing, it is difficult to outline low and high grade zones inside the REE resource at this time. Whereas sporadic higher grade REE values are encountered near surface and to a depth of 100 metres, mineralization in the resource model shows low variability below that depth. Four drill holes extending well below the resource model and to a maximum depth of 750 metres show comparable grades to other intercepts in the resource model. Based on all of the preceding information, the Mineral Resources have been classified as Inferred.
All assay results are reported in Total Rare Earth Element Oxides ("TREO"). Main rare earths found are LREEs: Cerium (Ce), Lanthanum (La), Neodymium (Nd), Praseodymium (Pr) and Samarium (Sm), and HREEs: Gadolinium (Gd), Europium (Eu), Dysprosium (Dy) and Terbium (Tb). Tables showing the most recent drill assay results supporting this mineral resource estimate are attached to this news release.
Preliminary metallurgical test work results of a REO bulk concentrate shows recoveries between 58% and 70%. Optimization test work continues and preliminary leach tests as well as extraction leach tests are ongoing. A final recovery of 53.5% of the REE is for the moment assumed.
Background information on the REE industry can be found by clicking on the following link:
Technical Information and Qualified Person/Quality Control Notes
The drilling results contained in this news release have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"), JORC and/or SAMREC. The "Qualified Person" responsible for the supervision of the preparation and review of this information is Marie-France Bugnon, P. Geo.,General Manager Exploration. Marie-France is considered a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 with respect to the technical information being reported on.
The "Qualified Person" responsible for the estimation of the Mineral Resources is Pierre Jean Lafleur, Eng., principal consultant of P.J. Lafleur Géo-Conseil Inc ("PJLGC") of Ste-Thérèse, Québec is an independent person considered a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 with respect to the technical information being reported on.
The technical information has been included herein with the consent and prior review of the above noted Qualified Person. The Qualified person has verified the data disclosed, and data underlying the information or opinions contained herein. Core assays are performed on core sawed or split in half. The samples were assayed by using sodium peroxide fusion and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for lanthanides over upper limit, and re-assayed by sodium peroxide fusion and a combination of Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and ICP-MS for 55 elements. Assays were carried out at SGS Canada Inc. of Lakefield, Ontario and Actlabs Ltd of Ancaster, Ontario. Certified reference material, duplicate and blanks were inserted in the sample sequence for quality control.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission limits disclosure for U.S. reporting purposes to mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. IAMGOLD uses certain terms in this presentation, such as "measured," "indicated," or "inferred," which may not be consistent with the reserve definitions established by the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in the IAMGOLD Annual Reports on Forms 40-F. You can review and obtain copies of these filings from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml or by contacting the Investor Relations department.
Forward Looking Statement
This news release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding expected, estimated or planned gold and niobium production, cash costs, margin expansion, capital expenditures and exploration expenditures and statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and mineral reserves) are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by use of the words "may", "will", "should", "continue", "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "believe", "intend", "plan" or "project" or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict, that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, without limitation, failure to meet expected, estimated or planned gold and niobium production, cash costs, margin expansion, capital expenditures and exploration expenditures and failure to establish estimated mineral resources, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, changes in world gold markets and other risks disclosed in IAMGOLD's most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement.
IAMGOLD (www.iamgold.com) is a leading mid-tier gold mining company producing approximately one million ounces annually from five gold mines (including current joint ventures) on three continents. IAMGOLD is uniquely positioned with a strong financial position and extensive management and operational expertise. To grow from this strong base, IAMGOLD has a pipeline of development and exploration projects and continues to assess accretive acquisition opportunities. IAMGOLD's growth plans are strategically focused in West Africa, select countries in South America and regions of Canada. IAMGOLD also operates Niobec, a niobium mine in the Canadian province of Quebec.
This entire news release may be accessed via fax, e-mail, IAMGOLD's website at www.iamgold.com and through CNW Group's website at www.newswire.ca. All material information on IAMGOLD can be found at www.sedar.com or at www.sec.gov.
Si vous désirez obtenir la version française de ce communiqué, veuillez consulter le http://www.iamgold.com/French/Home/default.aspx
Table 1: Location of the drill holes completed from July to end of October 2011
on the REE Zone of the Niobec property, Quebec
|Surface Holes|| UTM Coordinates
| Total Depth
|Hole ID|| Longitude
|Underground Hole|| UTM Coordinates
| Total Depth
|Hole ID||Long (E)||Lat (N)|
(UG hole from Niobec Mine)
Table 2: Significant mineralized intercepts obtained from July to October 2011 drill program on the REE Zone at Niobec
|Light REO||Main Heavy REO|
* TREO is for Total Rare Earth Oxides which include La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3 and Lu2O3.
** HREO is for Heavy Rare Earth Oxides which include in this table the 4 most important HREE elements, namely Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3 and Dy2O3.
- Intersections represent down-hole intervals; many drill holes start and finish in the REE Zone.
- All holes are diamond drill holes representing NQ core size.
- Assays were performed on core sawed or split in half. The samples were assayed by using sodium peroxide fusion and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for lanthanides over upper limit, and re-assayed by sodium peroxide fusion and a combination of Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and ICP-MS for 55 elements. Assays were carried out at SGS Canada Inc. of Lakefield, Ontario and Actlabs Ltd of Ancaster, Ontario. Certified reference material, duplicate and blanks were inserted in the sample sequence for quality control.
For further information:
Bob Tait, VP Investor Relations
Tel: (416) 360-4743 Mobile: (647) 403-5520
Laura Young, Director Investor Relations
Tel: (416) 933-4952 Mobile (416) 670-3815
IAMGOLD Corporation Toll-free: 1 888 464-9999 [email protected]