ROUGHLY half IamGold’s 780,000 to 800,000 ounces of gold production is derived from Africa including Essakane, a mine in Burkina Faso first developed by Gold Fields. It also derives 70,000 oz of attributable gold output from Sadiola, a grand old dame of a mine in Mali established by AngloGold Ashanti, which is still a joint venture partner. The balance of IamGold’s output is from North and South America. Letwin’s short-term task has been, like many other gold industry CEOs, to drive down costs and bring the balance sheet to heel. A $230m bought deal was sanctioned in August allowing for some $150m in convertible notes to be repurchased. The rest of the funds are allocated to development because Letwin’s longer term goal is resource replacement and to grow production. This is obviously no easy feat considering Sadiola is 20 years old and has seen production drop from 600,000 oz in 2000 to less than 200,000 oz a year today. A $300m to $400m project to mine sulphides at Sadiola is being considered that could keep it open for another 20 years. At Essakane, IamGold is developing a heap-leach operation to process uneconomic, low grade ore and extend mine life from 2019. Letwin is also working on the Falagountou expansion at Essakane as well as advanced exploration programmes at Boto Gold (Senegal) and Siribaya in Mali.
LIFE OF STEPHEN
A large portion of Stephen Letwin’s career has been in the North American energy sector where he was most recently executive vice-president of gas, transportation and international with Enbridge Inc. He was appointed CEO of IamGold in 2010. His educational background is in science in which he has a bachelor’s degree from McMaster University. In 2006, he was awarded the Alberta Centennial Metal for community contributions.
“I never lose sleep over the gold price, but I do worry about employees.”
- Web Address: www.iamgold.com