Three independent directors and a new chair have been appointed by Iamgold. This follows a reached agreement with Resource Capital Fund VII, managed by a US investment fund that launched a proxy battle in early February.
Denver-based RCF Management LLC, which owns 5.2% of Iamgold’s issued and outstanding shares, published an open letter on February 1 alleging there was “an urgent need” for an operational turnaround at the Toronto-based miner.
Under the agreement with RCF Management, Maryse Bélanger, David Smith and Ian Ashby have been appointed to as independent directors to the board. Bélanger, former president of Atlantic Gold Corp., has also been appointed chair, replacing interim chair Kevin O’Kane effective immediately.
Smith is a director of Hudbay and Pretivm Resources, while Ashby served as president of BHP’s iron-ore operations before he retired in 2012 and is currently director of Anglo American. Ronald Gagel would also resign from the board following the company’s 2021 year-end results, while Tim Snider would not stand for re-election at the 2022 shareholders meeting. Iamgold will look for a replacement for Gagel.
Iamgold is also looking for new top leaders, as chief executive officer Gordon Stothart left in January, providing no reason for the move, and its chairman suddenly retired earlier this month. Iamgold is building a new gold mine in Ontario, Canada — Côté, which has experienced numerous significant cost overruns.
The company also revealed that it was evaluating options for the Rosebel gold mine in Suriname, which would require a material capital investment in 2022 and 2023 to address certain challenges that the operation had been experiencing over the last two years.
The firm estimates Rosebel will require about $1.24 billion for the remaining 12 years of mine-life. It also flagged a potential non-cash asset impairment charge on the asset. Iamgold has run into delays in stripping, strategic pit pushbacks as well as issues with maintenance and the completion of required infrastructure at Saramacca, a satellite for Rosebel. Iamgold operates mines in North America, South America and West Africa and expects to produce between 570,000 and 640,000 attributable ounces of gold in 2022.