Iamgold’s Stephen Letwin to retire

Steve Letwin, president and CEO of Iamgold, delivers a speech at the Canadian Mining Symposium in London in May 2019. Photo by Martina Lang for The Northern Miner.

Iamgold (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG) has announced that CEO Stephen Letwin will retire at the end of February after a decade at the company.

Gordon Stothart, the company’s president and chief operating officer, will take his place.

The news comes on the same day the Toronto-based miner posted preliminary operating results for 2019, which show output fell short of Iamgold’s target for the year.

Attributable gold production last year reached 726,000 oz. gold, compared to the 765,000 to 810,000 oz. the company expected. Fourth-quarter output totalled 192,000 ounces.

Stothart warned that 2020 would be a year of transition for the miner, as it focusses on the future of Essakane and Rosebel, continues development of Westwood, and brings its 70:30 Saramacca joint-venture project with the government of Suriname up to full production.

Michel Payeur, manager of mine technical services at Iamgold's Rosebel gold mine in Suriname, (centre) leads of tour of the Rosebel mine. Photo by John Cumming.

Michel Payeur, manager of mine technical services at Iamgold’s Rosebel gold mine in Suriname, (centre) leads a tour of the Rosebel mine. Photo by John Cumming.

Iamgold halted work at Rosebel, also in Suriname, in August, following an incident involving police that led to the death of an artisanal miner and left some equipment unusable.

Shortly after, the company laid off 325 contractors at the South American mine and lowered its production forecast for the year to between 765,000 to 810,000 oz. gold.

The company ended up re-hiring the dismissed workers, however, after reaching an agreement with the local community, which allowed it to resume operations.

Rosebel, located in the mineral-rich Brokopondo district, 85 km south of the capital city of Paramaribo, has often been a target for illegal miners. This has led the company to allow some artisanal miners to work on the concession.

Iamgold expects to produce between 700,000 and 760,000 oz. gold in 2020, excluding output from Sadiola, which is in the process of being acquired by Australia’s Allied Gold.

This article first appeared in our sister publication, MINING.com.


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