(de Ware Tijd) PARAMARIBO – While Iamgold is negotiating with the government about expansion of the Rosebel Goldmines (RGM) in Brokopondo, it has caused much speculation on international stock markets by mentioning more expansion plans in the Americas. There is much speculation about possible takeovers in Suriname, Guyana, Brazil, Colombia and even Canada.
International media reports claim Iamgold president and CEO Steve Letwin has revealed the company’s plans to double annual production of all mines by 2017. Apart from the expansion plans in Suriname, the gold mining multinational wants to invest around US$ 400 million in the coming three months to take over another gold mine in the Americas.
Iamgold has often indicated it will consider opportunities to take over other gold mining operations in Suriname in addition to expanding RGM. When asked for comment, Natural Resources (NH) Minister Jim Hok says he is familiar with the sums Iamgold wants to spend on takeovers and expansions. There is also speculation about a joint-venture between Iamgold and Newmont in Suriname. “A joint-venture or takeover is a matter that regards the companies themselves. We are looking at the mining rights the company owns and the agreement we might reach. Other important aspects include employment, the state’s revenues and development possibilities,” Hok says. He says it is always good news that a company like Iamgold is investing in expansion in Suriname and particularly when production is going well. Hok is also pleased with the progress made so far in the talks with both Iamgold and Newmont. “I have the impression that the negotiating teams are treating each other with respect and am confident that all parties will benefit from the resulting agreements,” he says. Newmont is negotiating about starting gold mining operations in the Nassau Mountains area, and Iamgold wants to expand RGM considerably.