On January 24, 2018, Steve Letwin, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IAMGOLD, received the high presidential award of Grand Officer in the Honorary Order of the Yellow Star of Suriname. He received this honorary decoration from the Vice-President, Mr. Ashwin Adhin, on behalf of the President of Suriname, His Excellency D.D. Bouterse.
This special recognition has been awarded to Mr. Letwin for the tremendous contribution and dedication he has made in recent years to the Rosebel operation, among other things.
In his speech, the Vice-President addressed Mr. Letwin's dedication to Suriname by indicating that, since his appointment in 2010, this has been Steve Letwin’s 30th visit to Suriname. In recent years, following the collapse of gold prices in 2013 and the ongoing challenges at Rosebel, Steve has been managing the operation through its most difficult period.
The Vice-President also recalled Steve Letwin's personal commitment to signing the Second Amendment to the Mineral Agreement in 2013.
In the same year, he personally committed President Bouterse to build a 5 MW solar power plant for the Republic of Suriname, which has been operating since 2014. More recently, he was involved in the discussions with Makamboa of Nieuw Koffie Kamp to find a protocol for their small-scale mining activities on the Gross Rosebel concession. This protocol was signed at the end of 2017, laying the foundations for more peaceful relations in the future.
Continuous efforts, a strong belief in the company, its employees, and the support of the government and all stakeholders, have helped Steve to determine the path to a sustainable future, secure more than 1,700 jobs and thus make a continuous contribution to the Surinamese economy.
Mr. Letwin has also supported various sustainable social development programs including the collaboration between Rosebel and Anton de Kom University of Suriname (ADEK), for the "Master of Science" Program in Geology, since 2011, and the renovation of "Huize Tyl Tyl".
Finally, the Vice-President indicated that the Surinamese government wishes to continue and intensify its cooperation with IAMGOLD and acknowledges Mr. Steve Letwin's outstanding commitment to the Surinamese gold industry.
Mr. Letwin stated that he was very pleasantly surprised by the decoration. “It demonstrates the strength of our relationship with the Republic of Suriname. As I said in my remarks during today’s ceremony, that relationship is the product of extraordinary and sustained efforts of a very large group of people. In a very real sense, I am accepting this award not just on my own behalf, but rather on behalf of the entire Rosebel team, without whom none of this would have been possible. I would also like to thank the President of the Republic of Suriname, His Excellency D.D. Bouterse and his entire cabinet, including Vice-President Adhin, for this recognition and, more particularly, for their own sustained efforts, over many years, to support the Rosebel operation.”