Canadian firm Agnico Eagle Mines has announced to invest more than $1.2bn for the development of a gold mine and expand other operations in Canada, over the next three years.

The decision follows approval by Agnico’s board for the mine development at its Meliadine project as well its Amaruq deposit, a satellite deposit northwest of its existing Meadowbank mine in Nunavut.  

Through 2019, Agnico plans to invest around $900m to build a new mine at its Meliadine deposit, located on the western shore of Hudson Bay. It also intends to spend $330m to develop Amaruq mine.

Production from both the projects is scheduled to start in the third quarter of 2019.

Agnico Eagle CEO Sean Boyd said: "Our primary focus will be on developing and expanding our business in Nunavut as we complete the construction of a new mine at Meliadine and develop the Amaruq satellite deposit at Meadowbank. 

“These new operations, along with optimizations at existing mines, are expected to result in production growth from current levels to approximately 2.0 million ounces in 2020, along with a decline in unit costs.”

The Meliadine project has already secured all the necessary permits and licenses from Nunavut authorities. However, the Amaruq project is due to receive final approvals.

Agnico Eagle Mines said that its exploration program in 2017 will focus on the Amaruq satellite deposit, the LaRonde 3 deep deposit, the Barsele project in Sweden, the Sisar Zone at the Kittila mine in Finland.

It will also focus on satellite targets at the Pinos Altos and La India mines in Mexico and the El Barqueno project in Jalisco State, Mexico.