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IAMGOLD declares rare earth inferred resource of 467 million tonnes at a grade of 1.65% TREO

02/02/2012

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All amounts are expressed in US dollars, unless otherwise indicated.

TSX: IMG    NYSE: IAG

TORONTO, Feb. 2, 2012 /CNW/ - IAMGOLD Corporation ("IAMGOLD" or the "Company") today announced that it has declared an inferred resource of 466.8 million tonnes at a grade of 1.65% Total Rare Earth Oxides ("TREO") as a result of its 2011 exploration drilling program conducted on the rare earth elements ("REE") zone adjacent to its Niobec niobium mine near Saguenay, Quebec, Canada.

Steve Letwin, President and CEO of IAMGOLD, stated, "I am so proud of our team of employees who have unlocked this valuable deposit of highly prized metals. They have successfully defined the scope and size of a resource that we only guessed at a year ago and is completely unvalued by investors. In terms of developing this resource and bringing it to market, we plan to take the same funding approach as with our self-funded Niobec business. We will explore alternative strategies for developing this resource, such as joint venture partnerships and strategic alliances, which will not impact our gold business.

"While the scoping study will define the exact significance to the REE market, this deposit has the potential to place IAMGOLD among a select group of global REE suppliers to a market where applications for these metals are constantly evolving and expanding. Rare earths are integral to a wide range of fast growing industries and are difficult to substitute. China`s actions to restrict exports to protect supply for its domestic industry has led to a shortage of a number of REEs that are critical to some of the fastest growing markets, including the clean energy sector. Demand for REEs is growing at 9-15% a year, and according to a report by Ernst & Young -Technology Minerals - The rare earths race is on (April 2011), the market value is expected to double in size to a range of $4 billion to $6 billion by 2015."

IAMGOLD`s known rare earth element zone ("REE zone") was last explored in 1985 and is known to host significant rare earth element mineralization. As reported in the Company's 2011 second quarter report, a supplemental exploration program of $2.5 million was approved to drill test the projected extensions of known niobium resources at Niobec, and to explore the REE zone. The REE zone was evaluated with a total of 13,798 metres of diamond drilling in 29 holes including an underground drill hole from the Niobec mine (coordinates and results are attached in Tables 1 and 2).

IAMGOLD's rare earth resource is located one kilometre north of its Niobec mine in the mining friendly jurisdiction of Quebec. "The location of this resource is very conducive to bringing these REEs to market in a timely and cost effective manner," continued Mr. Letwin. "In addition to its close proximity to our existing mine infrastructure at Niobec, the location provides access to a large skilled population, an established and very competitively priced hydro power source, and excellent shipping and distribution options given the existing road and rail infrastructure and close proximity to deep water ports with ocean access. These factors, together with the Company's strong balance sheet, development expertise and excellent community relations provide distinct speed-to-market advantage."

The St Honoré carbonatite complex, which contains the niobium mine and the REE Zone, is a 25 km2 alkaline intrusive complex comprising a carbonatite core that is surrounded by nepheline syenite, feldspathoid syenite and other mafic intrusive phases. The carbonatite core is characterized by a series of concentric lenses of calcitite and dolomitite (cones sheets and ring dykes) that progress inwards from calcitite through dolomitite to ferrocarbonatite. The brecciated core of ferrocarbonatite has an oval shape elongated towards the northeast, and hosts the REE mineralization mainly in the form of REE fluorocarbonates (principally bastnaesite) and monazite. The mineralization occurs within breccia cement and is associated with hematite, chlorite, ferroan dolomite, minor thorite, ilmenorutile and pyrite.

The 2011 drill program conducted by the Company on the REE zone aimed to establish the three dimensional "footprint" of mineralization, provide a preliminary REE grade estimate and provide samples for preliminary metallurgical test work. The campaign was completed on a grid spacing of 100 by 200 metres to programmed drill depths of about 450 metres. Four holes exceeded 700 metres in total length, and to a maximum length of 750 metres. The deeper holes demonstrate that the brecciated and mineralized facies of the REE zone persists uninterrupted at depth, although the resource model is reported only to a depth of 375 metres. Further exploration and infill drilling is expected to extend the resource model well below the current depth parameters, and to the south and southwest. The Company initiated a 2,750 metre follow-up drill campaign in January to further define the lateral extent of the resource and establish the overall limits of REE mineralization with greater certainty. A second phase of drilling is also planned for resource definition and to explore at depth.

Based on these new drilling results, a resource estimate was prepared by Pierre Jean Lafleur, Eng., an independent Qualified Person and principal consultant of P.J. Lafleur Géo-Conseil Inc ("PJLGC") of Ste-Thérèse, Québec. The REE resource corresponds to an enriched zone of Light REEs ("LREE") which is characteristic of this annular carbonatite type. LREEs comprise 98% of the weight of the Total REEs ("TREE"), with the remaining 2% Heavy REEs ("HREE") that could potentially add significant economic value. As indicated in the tables below, the REE zone contains total Inferred Resources of 466.8 Million Tonnes at a grade of 1.65% Total Rare Earth Oxides ("TREO"), including 0.031% Heavy Rare Earth Oxides ("HREO"), to a depth of approximately 375 metres (the surface lies at a reference elevation of 10,000m).

REE Mineral Resources by Grade Groups   Light REO   Main Heavy REO
Grade Groups Tonnage % TREO ppm HREO Ce2O3 La2O3 Nd2O3 Pr2O3 Sm2O3 Gd2O3 Eu2O3 Dy2O3 Tb2O3
% TREO Million Tonnes ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm
> 2.50 13.2 2.93 550 14020 7173 5384 1538 603 284 124.0 81.3 22.2
2.00 to 2.50 80.0 2.16 407 10359 5300 3978 1137 445 210 91.6 60.1 16.4
1.75 to 2.00 123.8 1.87 352 8961 4585 3441 983 385 182 79.3 52.0 14.2
1.50 to 1.75 98.0 1.64 308 7845 4014 3013 861 337 159 69.4 45.5 12.4
1.00 to 1.50 99.2 1.26 236 6020 3080 2312 661 259 122 53.3 34.9 9.5
0.5 to 1.00 52.6 0.81 153 3890 1990 1494 427 167 79 34.4 22.6 6.2
Total/Average Grade  466.8 1.65 311 7913 4048 3039 868 340 161 70.0 45.9 12.5
                         
  Niobec TREO Signature 1.88% 47.9% 24.5% 18.4% 5.26% 2.06% 0.97% 0.42% 0.28% 0.076%

REO Mineral Resources by Depth Light REO Main Heavy REO
DEPTH SLICES Tonnage % TREO ppm
HREO
Ce2O3 La2O3 Nd2O3 Pr2O3 Sm2O3 Gd2O3 Eu2O3 Dy2O3 Tb2O3
m Million Tonnes ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm
Surface at 9975 5.4 1.90 357 9102 4657 3495 999 391 185 80.5 52.8 14.4
9950 (+/-25m) 60.5 1.77 332 8467 4332 3251 929 364 172 74.9 49.1 13.4
9900 (+/-25m) 72.7 1.65 310 7895 4040 3032 866 339 160 69.8 45.8 12.5
9850 (+/-25m) 72.0 1.61 302 7704 3941 2958 845 331 156 68.1 44.7 12.2
9800 (+/-25m) 70.2 1.61 303 7709 3944 2960 846 331 156 68.2 44.7 12.2
9750 (+/-25m) 66.7 1.63 307 7816 3999 3001 858 336 159 69.1 45.3 12.4
9700 (+/-25m) 61.8 1.64 308 7854 4018 3016 862 338 159 69.5 45.5 12.5
9650 (+/-25m) 57.4 1.66 311 7928 4056 3044 870 341 161 70.1 46.0 12.6
Total/Average Grade   466.8 1.65 311 7913 4048 3039 868 340 161 70.0 45.9 12.5

* TREO is for Total Rare Earth Oxides which include La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3, and Lu2O3.

** HREO is for Heavy Rare Earth Oxides which include in this table the 4 most important HREE elements, namely Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3 and Dy2O3.

NOTES:

  1. Results are presented in situ, unconfined and undiluted.
  2. The average bulk density used is 2.85 g/cm³ and was calculated from specific gravity measurements taken from core samples.
  3. Resource modeling used 6,731 samples from the 2011 drill program with 54 elements assayed (with re-assays for high grade samples). 564 samples from 1985 historical surface drilling program were also incorporated although 21 elements were assayed in the earlier programs instead of 54. A further 422 samples were incorporated from historic surface drill holes that were assayed only for La2O3; TREO values were recalculated from the elemental ratios established by the 2011 program. 
  4. 5m composites were utilized throughout.
  5. Variography indicates total cumulative grade variance is about 22% at very short range (1m to 2 m), 55% within 20m, and 100% up to 200m.
  6. The estimated mineral resources have been modeled using a 10-metre cubic block model and grades were estimated using Ordinary Kriging. All the blocks were estimated using a minimum of 4 and a maximum of 25 (5m) composites. The Inverse Distance Square interpolation method was used only for comparison with Kriging.

The estimated resource is enclosed within the core breccias of the carbonatite complex. The near surface "footprint" of mineralization has been confirmed in three directions in 2011. Drilling planned in early 2012 should confirm the known outline to the south. Given the narrow range (approximately 1% to 2%) of grade values in the block model and the wide drill hole spacing, it is difficult to outline low and high grade zones inside the REE resource at this time.  Whereas sporadic higher grade REE values are encountered near surface and to a depth of 100 metres, mineralization in the resource model shows low variability below that depth. Four drill holes extending well below the resource model and to a maximum depth of 750 metres show comparable grades to other intercepts in the resource model. Based on all of the preceding information, the Mineral Resources have been classified as Inferred.

All assay results are reported in Total Rare Earth Element Oxides ("TREO"). Main rare earths found are LREEs: Cerium (Ce), Lanthanum (La), Neodymium (Nd), Praseodymium (Pr) and Samarium (Sm), and HREEs: Gadolinium (Gd), Europium (Eu), Dysprosium (Dy) and Terbium (Tb).  Tables showing the most recent drill assay results supporting this mineral resource estimate are attached to this news release.

Preliminary metallurgical test work results of a REO bulk concentrate shows recoveries between 58% and 70%. Optimization test work continues and preliminary leach tests as well as extraction leach tests are ongoing. A final recovery of 53.5% of the REE is for the moment assumed.

Background information on the REE industry can be found by clicking on the following link:

http://www.iamgold.com/files/REE101.pdf

Technical Information and Qualified Person/Quality Control Notes
The  drilling results  contained in this news release have been prepared  in  accordance  with  National  Instrument  43-101  Standards  of Disclosure  for  Mineral  Projects  ("NI 43-101"), JORC and/or SAMREC.  The "Qualified Person" responsible for the supervision of the preparation and review of this information is Marie-France Bugnon, P. Geo.,General Manager Exploration. Marie-France is considered a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 with  respect  to  the  technical information being reported  on. 

The "Qualified Person" responsible for the estimation of the Mineral Resources is Pierre Jean Lafleur, Eng., principal consultant of P.J. Lafleur Géo-Conseil Inc ("PJLGC") of Ste-Thérèse, Québec is an independent person considered a  "Qualified Person" for the purposes of National  Instrument  43-101  with  respect  to  the  technical information  being reported  on. 

The  technical information has been included herein with the consent  and  prior  review  of  the  above  noted  Qualified  Person. The Qualified person has verified the data disclosed, and data underlying the information or opinions contained herein. Core assays are performed on core sawed or split in half. The samples were assayed by using sodium peroxide fusion and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for lanthanides over upper limit, and re-assayed by sodium peroxide fusion and a combination of Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and ICP-MS for 55 elements. Assays were carried out at SGS Canada Inc. of Lakefield, Ontario and Actlabs Ltd of Ancaster, Ontario. Certified reference material, duplicate and blanks were inserted in the sample sequence for quality control.

Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission limits disclosure for U.S. reporting purposes to mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce.  IAMGOLD uses certain terms in this presentation, such as "measured," "indicated," or "inferred," which may not be consistent with the reserve definitions established by the SEC. U.S. investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in the IAMGOLD Annual Reports on Forms 40-F. You can review and obtain copies of these filings from the SEC's website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml or by contacting the Investor Relations department.

Forward Looking Statement
This news release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding expected, estimated or planned gold and niobium production, cash costs, margin expansion, capital expenditures and exploration expenditures and statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and mineral reserves) are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are generally identifiable by use of the words "may", "will", "should", "continue", "expect", "anticipate", "estimate", "believe", "intend", "plan" or "project" or the negative of these words or other variations on these words or comparable terminology. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Company's ability to control or predict, that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements.  Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, without limitation, failure to meet expected, estimated or planned gold and niobium production, cash costs, margin expansion, capital expenditures and exploration expenditures and failure to establish estimated mineral resources, the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company's expectations, changes in world gold markets and other risks disclosed in IAMGOLD's most recent Form 40-F/Annual Information Form on file with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission and Canadian provincial securities regulatory authorities. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement.

About IAMGOLD

IAMGOLD (www.iamgold.com) is a leading mid-tier gold mining company producing approximately one million ounces annually from five gold mines (including current joint ventures) on three continents. IAMGOLD is uniquely positioned with a strong financial position and extensive management and operational expertise.  To grow from this strong base, IAMGOLD has a pipeline of development and exploration projects and continues to assess accretive acquisition opportunities. IAMGOLD's growth plans are strategically focused in West Africa, select countries in South America and regions of Canada. IAMGOLD also operates Niobec, a niobium mine in the Canadian province of Quebec.

Please note:
This entire news release may be accessed via fax, e-mail, IAMGOLD's website at www.iamgold.com and through CNW Group's website at www.newswire.ca. All material information on IAMGOLD can be found at www.sedar.com or at www.sec.gov.

Si vous désirez obtenir la version française de ce communiqué, veuillez consulter le http://www.iamgold.com/French/Home/default.aspx

Table 1:  Location of the drill holes completed from July to end of October 2011
on the REE Zone of the Niobec property, Quebec

Surface Holes UTM Coordinates
(Nad 83)
Azimuth
(°)
Dip
(°)
Total Depth
(m)
Hole ID Longitude
(E)
Latitude
(N)
     
2011-REE-005 341008.158 5378704.162 006 -50 445.2
2011-REE-006 341115.491 5378873.085 031 -52 452
2011-REE-007 340912.02 5378647.039 031 -50 450
2011-REE-008 341107.928 5379048.264 031 -50 335
2011-REE-009 340839.254 5378812.496 031 -50 449
2011-REE-010 340755.292 5378866.153 031 -50 449
2011-REE-011 340671.331 5378919.81 031 -50 450
2011-REE-012 340646.978 5378698.249 031 -50 449
2011-REE-013 340731.92 5378643.573 031 -50 449
2011-REE-014 340815.882 5378589.916 031 -50 446
2011-REE-015 340563.017 5378751.907 031 -50 449
2011-REE-016 340586.369 5378973.487 031 -50 449
2011-REE-017 340502.427 5379028.144 031 -50 446
2011-REE-018 340395.093 5378859.221 031 -50 452
2011-REE-019B 340479.055 5378805.564 031 -50 450
2011-REE-020 340946.568 5378980.419 031 -50 503
2011-REE-021 340862.626 5379035.076 031 -50 500
2011-REE-022 340455.683 5378582.983 031 -50 450
2011-REE-023 340778.665 5379088.733 031 -50 450
2011-REE-024 340694.703 5379142.391 031 -50 410
2011-REE-025 340800.239 5378659.235 031 -75 704
2011-REE-026 341086.068 5378953.677 211 -50 749
2011-REE-027 341018.495 5379027.016 211 -50 750
2011-REE-028 340585.093 5378857.492 031 -50 750
 
Underground Hole UTM Coordinates
(Nad 83)
Azimuth
(°)
Dip
(°)
Total Depth
(m)
Hole ID Long (E) Lat (N)      
S-3607
(UG hole from Niobec Mine)
340346.25
5378110.428
031
+5
898.25

Table 2:  Significant mineralized intercepts obtained from July to October 2011 drill program on the REE Zone at Niobec

  Light REO Main Heavy REO  
  From To Length TREO HREO Ce2O3 La2O3 Nd2O3 Pr2O3 Sm2O3 Dy2O3 Eu2O3 Gd2O3 Tb2O3 Nb2O5 Mo
Hole # (m) (m) (m) % % ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm ppm
 
2011-REE-005 22.5 445.2 422.7 1.243 0.022 5935 3307 1978 614 212 45 51 112 12 1553 58
2011-REE-006 44.0 452.0 408.0 1.141 0.018 5449 3008 1863 575 201 34 44 88 9 1279 68
  Incl.                              
  44.0 302.0 258.0 1.384 0.019 6677 3805 2155 683 221 34 49 96 10 1084 100
  302.0 452.0 150.0 0.721 0.015 3336 1638 1362 390 167 35 36 74 8 1613 15
2011-REE-007 5.2 450 444.8 1.780 0.029 8405 4530 3166 889 354 32 82 164 16 1452 184
2011-REE-008 44 335 291 0.956 0.016 4570 2447 1610 497 182 28 40 83 8 1567 51
  Incl.                              
  44 264.5 220.5 1.076 0.017 5159 2804 1761 557 196 31 43 91 9 1625 53
  264.5 335 70.5 0.581 0.011 2728 1329 1138 312 138 17 31 59 5 1386 49
2011-REE-009 21.5 449 427.5 2.084 0.033 9987 4933 3868 1140 424 48 90 176 15 1181 219
2011-REE-010 38 449 411 2.144 0.032 10137 5314 3934 1166 416 46 84 173 16 1483 243
2011-REE-011 48 450 402 2.342 0.030 11390 5716 4183 1259 425 46 83 158 14 1288 236
2011-REE-012 11 449 438 1.810 0.036 8447 4320 3375 987 422 61 93 185 18 1236 163
2011-REE-013 11 449 438 1.884 0.032 8936 4587 3367 1008 398 55 83 166 15 1657 186
2011-REE-014 17.0 446 429 1.783 0.026 8409 4637 3076 905 356 37 73 138 12 1277 147
2011-REE-015 44 449 405 2.009 0.035 9504 4746 3732 1079 427 71 53 202 20 1115 213
2011-REE-016 51.5 449 397.5 2.403 0.030 11686 5809 4397 1275 452 43 88 159 14 1460 168
2011-REE-017 29 446 417 0.965 0.018 4469 1849 2096 549 252 54 105 11 7 2105 87
  Incl.                              
  29 177.5 148.5 1.601 0.025 3179 3508 915 402 37 82 149 12 4 1419 114
  177.5 446 268.5 0.613 0.014 1113 1315 347 169 53 38 80 10 9 2484 72
2011-REE-018 69.5 452 382.5 1.902 0.030 9159 4055 3899 1093 412 38 85 162 13 730 197
2011-REE-019B 67.5 450 382.5 2.032 0.034 9841 4800 3771 1057 398 46 83 195 14 588 227
2011-REE-020 24.5 503 478.5 1.542 0.027 7323 3878 2731 792 315 37 68 153 10 932 124
  Incl.                              
  24.5 282.5 258 2.148 0.033 10324 5445 3748 1113 409 39 85 191 12 1016 138
  282.5 503 220.5 0.863 0.021 3945 2115 1596 430 212 34 50 113 8 863 111
                                 
2011-REE-021 30.5 500 469.5 1.553 0.025 7486 3706 2856 803 312 35 63 140 9 963 162
  Incl.                              
  30.5 170 139.5 2.424 0.036 11797 5752 4403 1267 468 50 92 207 14 931 195
  170 500 330 1.185 0.020 5664 2841 2202 607 246 29 51 112 7 977 148
2011-REE-022 52.5 450 397.5 1.723 0.040 8145 4199 3069 878 356 63 82 238 19 1405 112
2011-REE-023 36 450 414 2.091 0.031 9811 5444 3755 1087 381 39 75 180 12 1000 114
2011-REE-024 30.5 410 379.5 1.117 0.020 5301 2685 2059 596 239 27 50 115 8 1320 143
  Incl.                              
  30.5 312.5 282 1.213 0.022 5756 2872 2266 654 268 31 56 127 9 1482 169
  312.5 410 97.5 0.837 0.013 3986 2144 1459 428 155 18 32 78 5 855 70
2011-REE-025 2.5 704 701.5 2.240 0.035 10776 5766 3834 1122 407 46 84 206 13 974 175
2011-REE-026 21.5 749 727.5 2.084 0.035 10040 5115 3724 1028 430 45 88 200 13 856 174
2011-REE-027 29 752 723 1.942 0.037 9292 4480 3702 990 439 49 92 217 16 1017 183
2011-REE-028 36.5 755 718.5 1.952 0.038 9361 4462 3753 1007 414 51 89 222 17 826 218
S-3607 492.9 556.9 64 0.752 0.016 3455 1580 1524 428 186 36 39 76 8 2376 98
UG hole 556.9 898.2 341.4 1.897 0.023 9267 4653 3319 1033 333 35 64 122 11 1113 131

* TREO is for Total Rare Earth Oxides which include La2O3, Ce2O3, Pr2O3, Nd2O3, Sm2O3, Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3, Dy2O3, Ho2O3, Er2O3, Tm2O3, Yb2O3 and Lu2O3.

** HREO is for Heavy Rare Earth Oxides which include in this table the 4 most important HREE elements, namely Eu2O3, Gd2O3, Tb2O3 and Dy2O3.

Notes:

  1. Intersections represent down-hole intervals; many drill holes start and finish in the REE Zone.
  2. All holes are diamond drill holes representing NQ core size.
  3. Assays were performed on core sawed or split in half. The samples were assayed by using sodium peroxide fusion and Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometry (ICP-MS) for lanthanides over upper limit, and re-assayed by sodium peroxide fusion and a combination of Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometry (ICP-OES) and ICP-MS for 55 elements. Assays were carried out at SGS Canada Inc. of Lakefield, Ontario and Actlabs Ltd of Ancaster, Ontario. Certified reference material, duplicate and blanks were inserted in the sample sequence for quality control.