Suriname and Iamgold agree to expand Rosebel mine

Mon Nov 26, 2012 12:59pm EST
 
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By Ank Kuipers

PARAMARIBO Nov 26 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Iamgold Corp and Suriname's government have agreed to expand the development of the Rosebel mine in the South American country, officials said on Monday.

The mine is one of Iamgold's biggest, producing 385,000 ounces of gold in 2011. The Toronto-listed company said both sides were keeping the details of the deal confidential until it has been approved by Suriname's National Assembly.

"We and the government have had ongoing discussions for over a year to achieve this landmark agreement," Iamgold's Chief Executive officer Steve Letwin said in a statement.

His company has previously floated plans for a seven-year expansion plan at Rosebel that would cost around $185 million.

Speaking at independence day celebrations on Sunday in the northwestern district of Nickerie, Suriname's President Desi Bouterse confirmed an agreement had been reached with Iamgold to expand Rosebel, but did not give any details.

He also said a deal had been agreed with Newmont Mining Corp , which is part of a gold-mining joint venture with the local Suriname Aluminum Company (Suralco). He did not elaborate.

A sparsely populated former Dutch colony on the northeast shoulder of South America, Suriname produces gold and bauxite, which dominates the economy, and has a nascent oil industry.