The directors of Toronto-based IamGold Corporation have approved a US$28 million mill expansion and the construction of a US$19.9 million paste backfill plant for the Niobec niobium mine near Chicoutimi.
The mill project will boost throughput 24% to match hoisting capacity at 260 t/h. Construction will begin immediately and be complete in Q3 2010.
The addition of the paste backfill plant will reduce dilution and boost recovery compared to the current practice of longhole stoping without backfill. This will allow mining of ore that might otherwise be left behind as pillars, resulting in an increase in resources. At Dec. 31, 2008, the Niobec mine counted proven and probable reserves of 23.5 million tonnes at a grade of 0.59 Nb2O5. Construction of the fill plan will also begin immediately and be completed in Q2 2010.
The Niobec mine and mill supply between 7% and 9% of the world’s annual niobium production. See also www.IamGold.com.