"Agnico Eagle now operates eight gold mines within a 200 km radius." 

Daniel Paré


June 14, 2024

What were the main highlights from Agnico Eagle in Québec last year? 

2023 was a big year for Agnico Eagle, particularly with the acquisition of Yamana Gold's Canadian assets. This consolidated our position along the Abitibi Gold Belt, from Québec to Ontario. Agnico Eagle now operates eight gold mines within a 200 km radius.  What interested us in this transaction was the acquisition of the second half of the Canadian Malartic complex, with the Odyssey mine as well as the Wasamac project. Québec’s gold production peaked north of 1 million oz/y in 2023, representing more than 30% of Agnico Eagle's total production. Our strategic consolidation should lead to synergies in workforce, skills, and technical expertise, as well as infrastructure and milling capacity, giving us the potential to develop the region even more.

What are the reasons behind the record gold production at Canadian Malartic in 2023? 

Canadian Malartic complex production was approximately 680,000 oz last year on a 100% basis. We completed the mining of the first pit at Canadian Malartic in May 2023, and transitioned to the Barnat pit that feeds our mill. We also extracted the first ounces from the Odyssey underground mine by ramp in 2023. With the first pit being completed at Malartic, we will be transitioning to in-pit deposition in July 2024.

Can you outline Agnico Eagle’s expansion plans and exploration strategy in Québec? 

Québec remains a priority exploration target for us. Our 2024 exploration budget will be similar to that of 2023, between US$45 and US$60 million. We are investing on a brownfield basis in our three mining complexes and regional targets. At present, our priority is to develop the resources in the Odyssey area. At Goldex and LaRonde we are investing in exploration to improve our production profile and extend our mine life. Wasamac also has an exploration strategy to develop its mineral resources.

We are going to have 40,000 tonnes available per day at the Canadian Malartic complex plant. We have the infrastructure and the expertise in the region to optimize our assets. Different scenarios to maximize the use of our regional infrastructure for ore processing are still in evaluation. We want to continue our fill-the-mill strategy. A good example of this is the Akasaba West project. The project was built in 2023 and achieved commercial production in Q1 2024. The ore from Akasaba feeds the Goldex and LaRonde milling facilities, leveraging our regional infrastructures.

What are some of Agnico Eagle’s latest impactful ESG initiatives? 

In 2022, Agnico Eagle published its first climate action report.  We have a target of a 30% reduction in Scope 1 and 2 carbon emissions by 2030, and we want to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. In Québec we have hydroelectricity, so the projects we bring on stream will be low GHG emitters. 

I am proud of our agreement with the Abitibiwinni First Nations for the LaRonde complex in 2023. We have another collaboration agreement at Canadian Malartic with other First Nations in Abitibi-Témiscamingue, demonstrating our commitment to be a partner in the development of local communities. 

At the CIM conference in Vancouver in May, the LaRonde complex won the 2024 Towards Sustainable Mining® Environmental Excellence Award from the Mining Association of Canada for its transition to filtered tailings management. We also made innovations in our environmental practices, and this summer, for example, we will start the deposition of tailings in the Canadian Malartic pit.

What is the potential for further discoveries in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt? 

We discovered East Gouldie in 2018, an Odyssey underground mineralized zone which is probably one of the most promising new deposits in the belt. There have been 190 million oz of gold extracted over the last 100 years in the Abitibi gold belt, and there is still a lot of potential for discovery. We are still only one drill hole away from the next big discovery! 

What will be the main drivers of value creation for Agnico Eagle in the coming months? 

The excitement around Odyssey, drilling, and discoveries are our priorities. We have updated the PEA in 2023, and have added 1.6 million oz/Au to the mining plan, which we will continue to improve.  We will continue to refine studies of the Wasamac project and seek how we can leverage our regional infrastructures. Other projects like Upper Beaver in Ontario, a copper-gold deposit, also show interesting potential and studies are still progressing.   In conclusion, we have the infrastructure in Québec to carry out the next projects, notably through our feed-the-mill strategy.


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