IAMGOLD Corporation ("IAMGOLD" or the "Company") today provided an update from its 2017 infill drilling program currently in progress at the Saramacca project, located 25 kilometres southwest of its Rosebel Gold Mine ("RGM") in Suriname. The company is reporting assay results from the initial 29 diamond drill holes totaling 6,008 metres of the ongoing 2017 delineation program.
The assay intersections including capped composites and estimated true widths are provided in Table 1 and include the following highlights:
(A drill hole plan map is attached to this news release.)
- SMDD17-077: 60.5 metres grading 40.91 g/t Au Including: 19.5 metres grading 75.91 g/t Au
- SMDD17-084: 20.0 metres grading 4.26 g/t Au and 19.5 metres grading 9.66 g/t Au
- SMDD17-068: 16.7 metres grading 9.93 g/t Au
- SMDD17-091: 23.5 metres grading 7.41 g/t Au
- SMDD17-074: 32.6 metres grading 4.05 g/t Au and 17.75 metres grading 6.65 g/t Au
- SMDD17-085: 52.6 metres grading 5.33 g/t Au
"These drill results exceed what we expected when we acquired the rights to the Saramacca property and lead us to believe that this deposit has the potential to create significant value for all stakeholders with a vested interest in the future of Rosebel, including our shareholders and the Government of Suriname," said President and CEO of IAMGOLD Steve Letwin. "Initially we were attracted to Saramacca by the prospect of finding soft gold-bearing rock, and are pleased to see soft rock extending to depths of up to 100 metres. What is now becoming Saramacca's most compelling feature is the high grades that we've intercepted to date. We intend to declare a resource this year which would then enable us to develop our plans to bring Saramacca into the mine feed as quickly as possible."
Craig MacDougall, Senior Vice President, Exploration for IAMGOLD, stated: "The initial assay results from our ongoing 2017 infill diamond drilling program continue to return numerous intersections with high grades of gold over wide intervals, from both shallow oxide and deeper sulphide intervals. We are continuing to develop our geological deposit model and increase our confidence and understanding of the structures hosting the mineralization. We remain on target to complete an initial resource estimation in Q3 2017 as we have previously stated."
2017 Exploration Program
Drilling to date has confirmed the presence of multiple mineralized structures within an approximately 2 kilometres long and 600 metres wide corridor. Mineralization occurs in the near surface oxidized weathering profile to depths ranging from 50 to 100 metres, as well as deeper in the primary sulphide zones and remains open along strike and at depth. In the deposit area, three mineralization styles are recognized from the drilling completed to date: breccia hosted mineralization characterized by jigsaw, crackle and matrix supported breccias; shear hosted mineralization characterized by well-developed pyritic disseminations and stringers; and irregular pyrite-quartz-carbonate veins which locally carry high gold grades.
The 2017 infill drilling program is ongoing with three diamond drill rigs currently operating. The initial phase of the program will involve the completion of approximately 15,000 to 17,000 metres of diamond drilling on a nominal 50 x 50 metre infill drilling pattern to further define and confirm continuity of the key mineralized structures. Results will be incorporated into a deposit model to support an initial National Instrument 43-101 resource estimate expected for completion by the third quarter 2017.
In addition, geological mapping and geophysical surveys are planned along the Saramacca structural corridor to define targets for further exploration.
About the Saramacca Project
The Saramacca project is strategically located approximately 25 kilometres southwest of the Rosebel Gold Mine milling facility. Mineralization is hosted in the Paramaka Formation within the lower part of the Marowijne Greenstone Belt, which is dominated by metamorphosed dacite, rhyolite, basalt and andesite lithologies in the project area. These are traversed by the regional, northwest trending Saramacca shear zone, an important deformation zone for the localization of gold mineralization.
The Saramacca property has been explored since the 1990's principally by Golden Star Resources Ltd. ("Golden Star") and later as a joint venture between Golden Star and Newmont Mining Corporation. Much of that work focused on the discovery and delineation of Anomaly M, which was the subject of successive auger and diamond drilling programs with over 50 diamond drill holes and over 200 auger holes completed in the anomaly area. Evaluation of this work suggests an exploration target potential of between 8 and 40 million tonnes grading between 1.0 and 1.8 g/t Au for potentially 0.5 to 1.4 million contained ounces of gold. The potential quantity and grade are conceptual in nature and insufficient exploration work has been completed to date to define a mineral resource. The property will require significant future exploration to advance to a resource stage and there can be no certainty that the exploration target will result in a mineral resource being defined.
On August 30, 2016, the Company signed a letter of intent with the Government of Suriname to acquire rights to the Saramacca property, with the intent of defining a National Instrument 43-101 mineral resource within 24 months. The terms of the letter included an initial payment of $0.2 million, which enabled immediate access to the property for Rosebel's exploration team to conduct due diligence, as well as access to the data from previous exploration activity at the Saramacca property. On September 30, 2016, having been satisfied with the results of the due diligence, the Company ratified the letter of intent to acquire the Saramacca property and subsequently paid $10 million in cash and agreed to issue 3.125 million IAMGOLD common shares to the Government of Suriname in three approximately equal annual instalments on each successive anniversary of the date the right of exploration was transferred to Rosebel (December 14, 2016). In addition, the agreement provides for a potential upward adjustment to the purchase price based on the contained gold ounces identified by Rosebel in National Instrument 43-101 measured and indicated resource categories, within a certain Whittle shell within the first 24 months, to a maximum of $10 million.
The Saramacca project falls within the "UJV" area as defined in an Agreement with the Government of Suriname announced on April 15, 2013. The Agreement establishes a joint venture growth vehicle under which Rosebel would hold a 70% participating interest and the Government will acquire a 30% participating interest on a fully-paid basis.
Qualified Persons and Technical Information
The drilling results contained in this news release have been prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101").
The "Qualified Person" responsible for the supervision of the preparation, verification and review of the technical information in this release is Ian Stockton, MAusIMM, FAIG, Exploration Manager for IAMGOLD in Suriname. He is considered a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 with respect to the technical information being reported on. The technical information has been included herein with the consent and prior review of the above noted Qualified Person.
The information in this news release was reviewed and approved by Craig MacDougall, P.Geo., Senior Vice President, Exploration for IAMGOLD. Mr. MacDougall is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101.
The sampling of, and assay data from, drill core is monitored through the implementation of a quality assurance - quality control (QA-QC) program designed to follow industry best practice. Drill core (HQ and NQ size) samples are selected by the IAMGOLD geologists and sawn in half with a diamond saw at the Rosebel mine site. Half of the core is retained at the site for reference purposes. Sample intervals may vary from half a metre to one and a half metres in length depending on the geological observations.
Samples are transported in sealed bags to FILAB in Paramaribo, Suriname, a representative lab of ALS. FILAB is an ISO 9001 (2008) and ISO/IEC 170250 accredited laboratory. Samples are weighed and coarse crushed to <2.5 mm, and 350-450 grams is Pulverized to 85% passing<100 μm. Samples are analyzed for gold using standard fire assay technique with a 50 gram charge and an Atomic Absorption (AA) finish. Multi-element analysis (40 elements) using ICPAES multi-acid digest is also undertaken. IAMGOLD inserts blanks and certified reference standard in the sample sequence for quality control. Samples representative of the various lithologies are collected from each drill hole and measured for bulk density at the site RGM laboratory.