The Meliadine gold project is expected to have a production of nearly 230,000 ounces of gold in 2019


Image: Commercial production begins at Meliadine gold mine. Photo: courtesy of Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited.

Agnico Eagle Mines has started commercial production at its 100% owned Meliadine gold mine in Nunavut, Canada, ahead of the original schedule and under the initial capital budget of $900m (£712.94m).

Meliadine gold mine details

The Meliadine gold mine, which is spread over 111,358 hectares, is located on the western shore of Hudson Bay, in the Kivalliq District, near Rankin Inlet. Agnico Eagle became the owner of the Canadian gold deposit following its takeover of Comaplex Minerals in 2010.

Construction of the Meliadine project was approved by Agnico Eagle’s board in February 2017. At that time, the company announced an investment of $300m (£237.65m) to develop the Amaruq deposit, a satellite deposit located northwest of the company’s Meadowbank mine.

Prior to achieving commercial production at the Meliadine gold mine, the Canadian gold mining company began initial ore processing in February using low-grade stockpiles. Pre-commercial payable gold production at the Canadian mine was 47,281 ounces, compared to guidance of 60,000ounces, while pre-production gold sales came to 28,855ounces.

Agnico Eagle expects production at the Meliadine gold project for 2019 to be around 230,000 ounces of gold at total cash costs of $612 (£484.8) per ounce.

Agnico Eagle CEO Sean Boyd said: “With Meliadine ramping up production over the balance of the year and Amaruq on schedule to achieve commercial production in the third quarter of 2019, the Company is well positioned to achieve its gold production target of 1.75 million ounces for 2019.”

Production from the Amaruq gold deposit is planned to be used for supplying ore to the existing Meadowbank mill.

In another development, Agnico Eagle has increased its stake in Royal Road Minerals from nearly 9.43% to about 19.9%.

Agnico Eagle, which has been producing precious metals since 1957, has operating mines in Canada, Finland and Mexico. The company also has exploration and development activities in the three countries and also in the US and Sweden.