Japan’s Sumitomo Metal becomes IAMGOLD partner in Canadian project

Japan’s Sumitomo Metal Mining Co. has become the official joint-venture partner of IAMGOLD Corp.

The Canadian bullion producer has finished the sale of 30% of its interest in the Côté Gold Project, located in the Abitibi gold belt in Ontario.

With the completion of the $195-million deal, IAMGOLD’s liquidity now exceeds $1 billion.

The deal, originally expected to close in September, makes IAMGOLD the project’s operator. However, each party will be responsible for funding its share of expenses, including initial and sustaining capital costs.

“Closing a transaction that has unlocked the hidden value of Côté Gold is tremendously exciting,” said Steve Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD.

“In Sumitomo, we have a partner with a common interest in both advancing the development of Côté and in potentially pursuing future opportunities.”

The Côté Gold Project, currently in the pre-feasibility study phase, is expected to begin production in 2021, with an expected average output of 320,000 ounces of gold per year for 17 years.

The deal comes as Sumitomo is actively looking to increase total output through acquisitions and exploration.