PARAMARIBO, Suriname -- Rosebel Gold Mines, Suriname’s main gold producer, has reported a gross income of US$608 million and a net profit of US$196 million in 2011. At a press conference on Friday in Paramaribo following the company’s shareholders meeting, it was disclosed that talks with the Surinamese government for a new agreement are progressing steadily.
Through taxes, royalties and dividends the Suriname government earned US$156.5 million while RGM’s local spending totaled about US$143 million.
“This is a major contribution to the Surinamese economy,” said natural resource minister Jim Hok. He further disclosed that Suriname is negotiating a larger stake in the company’s operations, a promise President Desi Bouterse made during his 2010 election campaign. Currently Suriname holds a 5 percent stake in the company with the remaining 95 percent owned by Canada-based Iamgold.
Gordon Stothart, Iamgold’s executive vice-president, and RGM’s general-manager Tom Ohrling are expecting that before year-end the new agreement with the government could be reached.
“Indications are that things are going well in terms of the discussions and we hope to come to a conclusion sometime before the end of this year,” said Ohrling.
Suriname and Iamgold in December 2011 signed a heads of agreement to reach a new deal by end 2012.
“I am highly optimistic that we will meet that. Hopefully soon, but obviously everybody needs to be satisfied that they are achieving their goals. We have made a good deal of progress during the last sessions and we are making headways,” Stothart added.
Rosebel’s total operating costs in 2011 reached US$302 million, capital investments US$72 million while production costs increased from US$483 an ounce in 2010 to US$611 an ounce last year. The company produced 406,000 ounces of gold last year. The outlook for this year is between 395,000 and 415,000 ounces. RGM expects to invest US$550 million between 2012 and 2016.