IAMGOLD's Cote Project near Timmins boasts some leading-edge technology and lengthy lifespan
IAMGOLD's Cote Project, about an hour south of Timmins, is moving along with its construction phase.
Roads are being built, water has been pumped, fish have been relocated and some open pit mining has already begun.
The company currently has between 700 and 800 employees working on creating a mine with the future in mind. Gord Stothart, the company's president and chief executive officer, said Cote mine will be the third in Canada to have onsite autonomous hauling and drilling.
“We’re going to be using driverless trucks and driverless drills on the site -- it’s mature technology," said Stothart.
Cote Gold's general manager said he's looking for people interested in working with computers and communication systems.
"To make sure these 23 autonomous trucks work correctly, we need a very good communication system around the pit, so for sure we’re going to need a specific team just to manage that because if we lose the communication system, the trucks will stop," said Sylvain Collard.
Collard said people interested in working in a processing mill will also be treated to using some of the most interesting equipment in the industry.
“It's called HPGR -- high pressure grinding rollers," he said. "So it’s going to be the biggest one in Canada ... At the same time we’re going to have two Vertimills, which are the biggest on the market.”
IAMGOLD acquired the property in 2012 and Stothart said it's signed partnership agreements with several First Nations, most recently the Métis Nation of Ontario.
He said hiring Indigenous people from the area will be a priority. When the mine is in full production in 2023, the Cote Mine will need 450 full-time workers.
“We’ve had a recent discovery off the side of it and are looking to add some additional ounces to the pot here in the next while," Collard said. "So my projection is this mine is going to go well beyond 18 years and I think is going to be an important contributor to the northern economy for a long time.”
Stothart said to have a discovery of this magnitude in this region -- the heart of the world's mining industry -- is really special to IAMGOLD.
He said an economic study done a couple of years ago found that the Cote Project expects to produce at least $10 billion for Ontario's economy and $5 billion in direct and indirect wages.