IAMGOLD to construct solar power project in Suriname

IAMGOLD, a Canada-based firm, along with its subsidiary, Rosebel Gold Mines (RGM), will build a new solar power project in Suriname.

The project, which is estimated to cost around $12m to $14m, is expected to have an installed capacity of five megawatts.

The solar project that will be managed by RGM, is planned to be operational at the start of the third quarter of 2014, and will interconnect to Suriname's electric power grid system.

IAMGOLD president and CEO Steven Letwin said the company needs an increased amount of power to crush and grind the ore to facilitate the gold extraction.

"We have successfully negotiated reductions in the cost of power at Rosebel and this solar project further improves the cost and supply of power to meet our needs," Letwin added.

The company noted that the project is delivering on a prior commitment to the government of Suriname, which was made in connection with a prior deal that significantly reduced the firm's cost of power.

IAMGOLD South America commercial vice president and project coordinator Ron Halas said that the solar project is a positive step forward for the company and Suriname as a whole.

"Five megawatts of additional generating capacity will help the mine to reduce operating costs and free up existing power capacity for use by other customers in Suriname," Halas added.