Exploration has always been a cornerstone of IAMGOLD’s growth. Our more than 75 exploration professionals, based in eight countries in Africa and the Americas, adhere to the principle that “exploration is a business, not a science”. Our main areas of interest are West Africa, Canada, and select countries of the Guiana Shield, and the Andes and Brazil in South America. We carry out both greenfields and near-mine (“brownfields”) exploration, and continue to seek quality acquisition opportunities, which have increased as a result of the current market conditions.
In 2012, exploration expenditures totaled $152.3 million, of which $112.7 million was expensed and $39.6 million was capitalized. The increase of $43.7 million in total exploration expenditures compared to 2011 is due to a larger exploration program and the acquisition of the Côté Gold Project during the year. Drilling activities from projects totaled approximately 681,500 metres for the year.
The level of 2013 exploration expenditures will drop to $102.3M as IAMGOLD implemented the program announced on March 4 to cut $100M from the 2013 operating budget.