UPDATE 1-Canada's IAMGOLD Burkina mine expansion on budget

Tue Apr 16, 2013 6:32pm EDT
 
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OUAGADOUGOU, April 16 (Reuters) - Canadian gold miner IAMGOLD Corp said on Tuesday that an expansion project aiming to boost the capacity of its Essakane gold mine in Burkina Faso is within budget and on schedule, and will not require additional capital expenditures.

Earlier in the day, Burkina Faso's state-owned newspaper, Sidwaya, reported that the expansion would require an additional investment of around $360 million.

"IAMGOLD is maintaining previously announced $300 million capital spending plans for Essakane in 2013, of which approximately $200 million is required to complete a project to expand its throughput capacity," the Toronto-listed miner said.

"This project commenced construction in July of 2012 and is on budget and on time for completion in the fourth quarter of this year," it continued.

According to Sidwaya, the project includes an extension of the main pit, excavation of a new satellite pit and construction of a road linking the two sites.

"The expansion aims to increase extraction capacity from 32 million tonnes of ore annually to 56.5 million tonnes," Gilles Helu, the mine's health and security director, said in Tuesday's edition of Sidwaya.

"The global processing output for the factory will be reinforced, increasing from 9 million tonnes of ore per year to 10.8 million tonnes," he said.

The expansion will extend the life of the mine to 2025 and create an additional 900 jobs, the paper said.

IAMGOLD acquired a 90 percent stake in the Essakane mine in 2009, with the rest held by the government of Burkina Faso. The mine contains reserves of 3.9 million ounces and produced 337,000 ounces of gold attributable to IAMGOLD in 2011.