Iamgold First-Quarter Profit, Production Rise
Net earnings were $42.3 million, or 9 cents per share, a turnaround from a net loss of $18 million, or 4 cents, in the same period a year ago.
Excluding special items, adjusted earnings came in at $40.4 million, also 9 cents per share, up from adjusted income of $5.1 million, or a penny, in the year-ago period.
Iamgold reported that January-March revenues rose to $314.5 million from $260.5 million a year ago.
"Earlier in the year, we said our priorities were to meet expectations and to execute a robust set of growth projects,” said Steve Letwin, president and chief executive officer. “Gold production in the quarter was up year-over-year, with Essakane and Westwood setting record highs. All-in sustaining costs of $953 an ounce were down $118 an ounce from the fourth quarter of last year.”
Gold production totaled 229,000 ounces, up 15,000 ounces from the prior-year period. Iamgold said the increase was due to higher grades at Essakane (16,000 more ounces) and higher grades and the continued ramp-up at Westwood (10,000 ounces), partially offset by lower grades at Rosebel (9,000 ounces) and lower throughput at joint ventures (2,000 ounces).
All-in sustaining costs of $953 per ounce were down $39 from the same quarter of 2017. Meanwhile, the average realized price of gold rose to $1,331 from $1,230 an ounce.
“Annual production and cost guidance remains unchanged and our growth projects are firmly on track,” Letwin said. “At Essakane, the world’s largest hybrid solar/thermal power plant was completed, and the pre-feasibility study for a heap leaching project, as part of our expansion of the mine, is nearing completion. In the second half of this year, we expect to have a mineral reserve estimate for Saramacca and a completed feasibility study for our Boto gold project. With recent resource estimates for our Monster Lake and Eastern Borosi projects, nearly all of our advanced greenfield projects have confirmed a resource."
Iamgold maintained its full-year production and cost guidance for 2018. Second-quarter output is expected to be down from the first quarter and to trend upward in the second half of the year. The second-quarter total is expected to reflect the impact of scheduled mill maintenance at Rosebel and Essakane and the seasonal rains at Rosebel, Iamgold said.