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TORONTO, Sept. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - IAMGOLD Corporation ("IAMGOLD" or the "Company") reports that the Société d'Exploration des Mines d'Or de Yatela S.A, a joint venture between IAMGOLD (40%), AngloGold Ashanti (40%) and the government of Mali (20%), has decided to suspend mining excavation activities at the Yatela Mine in Mali effective September 30, 2013. This decision reflects a combination of factors, including miner safety in the pit, the drop in the spot price of gold and the reduction in profit margin. Although a process of gradual dismantling of the site is planned for September 30, 2013, processing of heap leach pads and ore already mined will continue until the end of 2016, since the end of the mining activities does not yet mean the end of the mine. The Yatela mine is situated over 600 kilometres north-west of the Malian capital of Bamako and about 25 kilometres north of the Sadiola mine.
This decision will result in the conclusion of contractual arrangements with Yatela's mining contractors (AMS & BME), who will cancel the mine workers' contracts. AngloGold Ashanti, as the mine operator, will focus on compliance with all regulations governing the reduction of staff. With regard to the employees of Yatela SA, negotiations will continue with the labour union on any closure related issues.
Yatela's community development activities will not be affected by the conclusion of mining activities. A new plan for social development focusing on the expansion and marketing of community development and current socio-economic projects is being developed.All discussions relating to Yatela closure plan will continue under the supervision of the Yatela National Closure Commission until final agreement. The management of Yatela SA will engage on comprehensive communication with all stakeholders and keep the National Closure Commission informed throughout this process.