The Côté Gold Project is an open-pit development project owned 92.5% by a joint venture between IAMGOLD Corp. (“IAMGOLD”) and Sumitomo Metal Mining Co., and 7.5% by a third party. The project is operated by a wholly owned subsidiary of IAMGOLD. The project is located in the Chester and Yeo Townships, in the District of Sudbury in northeastern Ontario, approximately 125 kilometers southwest of Timmins and 175 kilometers north of Sudbury. The current entrance to the site is approximately 5 kilometers west of Highway 144.
Exploration activities have been ongoing in the area since the early 1900s by various companies and government agencies. More concentrated mineral exploration efforts were conducted in the early 1940s and from the early 1970s to about 1990. Since its discovery in 2010, extensive diamond drilling activities have been undertaken to delineate the Côté Gold deposit.
IAMGOLD completed a Feasibility Study (FS) in November 2018 and reported total proven and probable reserves of 7.3 million ounces of gold. IAMGOLD also reported a mine life of at least 18 years with mill throughput of 36,000 tonnes per day and an average mill feed grade of 0.96 grams per tonne gold. IAMGOLD expects the Côté Gold Project to produce an average of 367,000 ounces of gold per year with an average of 493,000 ounces of per year in the first five years of production. Life of mine total cash costs are expected to be $600 per ounce with all-in-sustaining cost of $771 per ounce.
IAMGOLD is targeting commercial production in the second half of 2023.
Royal Gold holds a 1.0% net smelter return (NSR) royalty on all minerals produced from the Chester 3 mining claims, which Royal Gold estimates contain approximately 70% of the current reserves of the Côté Gold Project, as well as other areas outside of the current project area.
Royal Gold acquired this royalty interest on June 7, 2021 for $75 million from a third party.