Iamgold Earnings Call INSIGHTS: Stockpile Sourcing, Essakane

On Tuesday, Iamgold Corp (NYSE:IAG) reported its second quarter earnings and discussed the following topics in its earnings conference call. Take a look.

Stockpile Sourcing

Anita Soni – Credit Suisse: My question is with regards to the disclosure, since Bob was inviting us to give a little bit of feedback, I’m just wondering, your total operating turns that you report for each of the assets, is that basically every single expense that you waste and the ore material and then you divide the strip ratio to figure out what the ore is?

Stephen J. J. Letwin – President and CEO: That’s correct. I’ll confirm it but I believe that is correct, yes.

Anita Soni – Credit Suisse: So then I just wanted to confirm, at a couple of the operations, I think it was particularly Sadiola and Essakane, it seems like the ore material is sort of underperforming the amount that’s actually going into the mill. I’m just wondering are you sourcing from stockpile.

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: It’s Gordon here. That’s exactly right. Essakane, we’ve been – as per the original plan, we built a lot of stockpiles ahead of the startup at Essakane so that we could access higher grade ore in the second half of 2010 and 2011. So, this year as planned we are now harvesting some of those stockpiles, margin or not margin, medium grade stockpiles back into the mill while we’re accessing more transitional rock from the pit.

Anita Soni – Credit Suisse: So could you just let me know what the amount of the stockpile is in the grade at Essakane?

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: The total stockpile?

Anita Soni – Credit Suisse: Yes.

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: Or the amount fed to the mill?

Anita Soni – Credit Suisse: No, the total stockpile that you have in terms of tonnage and grade.

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: I don’t have those numbers on hand but we can certainly get them to you.

Essakane

Salim Ben Mansour – BMO Capital Markets: My first question on Essakane, you had guidance initially of $220 million and seems like the CapEx is lower to-date. Just wanted to know if you were planning to catch up in the second half or spend less this year?

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: We are going to catch up a lot of that in the second half but not the full amount. We re-guided at the end of the first quarter downwards on our total spend for the year basically pushing some of those expenditures into the start of 2013. I don’t have the exact full year for Essakane but I think it was – it came out on the first quarter release.

Salim Ben Mansour – BMO Capital Markets: Another question on Essakane in terms of throughput following the expansion what were you looking for following the upcoming expansion what kind of throughput both for soft and hard ore and then when are you planning to get to process hard rock only?

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: We are not actually putting a soft rock number on it because by the end of 2013 or early 2014 when we are commissioning the plant at Essakane we are going to be effectively into 100% hard rock and the nameplate capacity for the expansion is 10.8 million tons per year.

Salim Ben Mansour – BMO Capital Markets: On the Rosebel with the addition of a third ball mill what kind of throughput would you be targeting?

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: While overall what we are looking at for all the work we are doing at Rosebel right now the go forward case is looking at not only 14 million tons a year on 100% hard rock. Once we’ve got the full plant install, after the third ball mill, it’s a fairly give and take because hard rock percentage is increasing every year. I believe last year weighted 12.6 million, 12.5 million tons at Rosebel. This year we’re looking at a similar number. We’re going to creep slowly up to the 14 million tons by 2016, but I would say the third ball mill next year will probably going to be in the 12.8 million to 13 million tons.

Salim Ben Mansour – BMO Capital Markets: Will that be the expense of grades or are you still looking at the same profile or what’s your take on this?

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: When we get into the hard rock typically the grade goes up a little bit because the cutoff grade is higher due to the higher energy requirements. So, I don’t have the exact number. I know we’re working on new reserves and resources at the end of the year, but when we get into a harder rock typically you’re going to see a bit of an uptick in grade.

Salim Ben Mansour – BMO Capital Markets: One last question on Doyon in terms of mining costs. I’m just trying to reconcile what you had in the MD&A in terms of cash cost with what you showed in terms of mining cost for Canada in financial statements like $5.6 million. I’m just trying to see what comes into play while explaining the difference?

P. Gordon Stothart – EVP and COO: The production of couple thousand ounces you see at Mouska is actually related to the cleanup of the plant. We have cleaned up the thickeners in a number of other parts of the plant as part of the refurbishment of the Doyon mill for Westwood. So, the costs you see there are not really related to the mining costs at Mouska right now. Mining costs at Mouska are going into the stockpile and going into working capital because we’re not processing that ore right now. Those costs will be coming back out next year when we treat that, the stockpile at Mouska together with the startup of Westwood.