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Agnico Eagle Mines calls Northern Ontario Home - Now and for the Future

Dec 5, 2023

Agnico Eagle Mines stands as the third-largest gold producer worldwide, boasting an estimated annual production ranging from 3.24 to 3.44 million ounces and its Detour Lake mine in Northern Ontario, has emerged as Canada’s leading gold producer. As a senior Canadian gold mining company, Agnico Eagle produces precious metals from operations in Canada, Australia, Finland and Mexico. It has a pipeline of high-quality exploration and development projects in these countries as well as in the United States and Colombia. Agnico Eagle is a partner of choice within the mining industry, recognized globally for its leading environmental, social and governance practices. The Company was founded in 1957 and has consistently created value for its shareholders, declaring a cash dividend every year since 1983.
Agnico Eagle’s mission is to build a high-quality, easy to understand business, one that generates superior long-term returns for shareholders, creates a great place to work for employees and contributes positively to the communities where it operates.
Agnico Eagle’s strategy has always been regional: to focus on operating in areas where mining is accepted by the people, the geological resources are rich and the political risks are limited.


Andre Leite, Vice President of Agnico Eagle, Ontario Operations

Andre Leite, Vice President of Agnico Eagle, Ontario Operations was a guest speaker during the Canadian Mining Expo this year. He addressed more than 200 delegates in attendance and spoke about Agnico Eagle’s Ontario operations.

In his presentation, he said: “we are taking a very proactive approach, from our relationship-building to how we support our communities. We are not reactive. We aren’t waiting for the communities to come to us, we start the process by reaching out first, understanding their needs, understanding how that aligns with our strategies, and implementing those activities and support to the communities where we operate”.

Agnico Eagle holds approximately 40% of its net asset value in Northern Ontario.

80% of Agnico Eagle’s gold production comes from Canada and the company holds approximately 40% of its net asset value in Northern Ontario. This is reinforced with significant investment and community participation. The company’s Northern Ontario operations employ 3,400 individuals and contractors, with an annual investment of approximately $115 million in exploration. Their total goods and services expenditures reach $1.4 billion, including $420 million related to Indigenous communities. They maintain 11 agreements with First Nations in their operating territories and are contributing $455 million to wages and benefits, primarily benefiting the local Northern Ontario economy.

In support of their Northern Ontario communities, in 2022, Agnico Eagle contributed $8.3 million through donations and sponsorships, proactively engaging with communities to align their support with local needs and strategies. Agnico Eagle is truly a Canadian mining champion.
In comparison to other major players, Agnico Eagle views Northern Ontario as instrumental in their strategy as their history shows. Detour Lake mine, known for its large low-grade, high-volume, and low-cost operations continued pace in 2023 by yielding 732,000 ounces of gold annually, showing potential for further growth towards a whopping one million ounces. Agnico Eagle took Detour Lake from producing 21 million tons a year of ore in the mill and grew it to about 25.5 million tons last year and went from producing 600,000 ounces of gold to a now 732,000 ounces of gold per year operation.


Agnico Eagle People


Agnico Eagle is looking to expand the Detour operation by expanding their production from around 100 million tons a year to around 130 million tons a year of total material mined. This is expected to take place within the next two years.

“Agnico Eagle’s role extends beyond mere extraction; it includes the development of innovative technologies, best practices, and sustainable mining methods,” stated Leite.
The second of the two operating mines owned by Agnico Eagle is the storied Macassa mine, which has been operational since 1933. In 2018, they initiated significant infrastructure improvements to address this issue with the sinking of a new shaft and sinking two new ventilation raises. Macassa’s early adoption of battery equipment, out of necessity, paved the way for the development of groundbreaking technology. Agnico Eagle envisions a long and prosperous future for this mine.
The Macassa mine is unlocking a lot of value. With the mine improvements starting next year the company is looking to potentially see the production ramp up.  The Macassa mine has been in operation for over 90 years, and Agnico Eagle sees the potential to continue there, operating for more than several more decades.

The future looks bright for Agnico Eagle and Northern Ontario as they see a lot of synergies now that the other half of Canadian Malartic is part of their portfolio with the milling capacity in Quebec, and how they can optimize all the smaller deposits that they have in the region. This puts Agnico Eagle at a very good competitive advantage in relation to how to mill and process these ore bodies.
Agnico Eagle, alongside the broader gold mining industry, holds a pivotal position in the realm of workforce development, offering a unique opportunity to cultivate the talent needed for the exploration and extraction of critical minerals. This endeavor extends beyond the traditional gold-focused mining operations, aiming to address the burgeoning demand for vital minerals essential to various industries.

In an era marked by economic inflation and demographic challenges, particularly in Northern Ontario and across Canada, the expertise and infrastructure built by Agnico Eagle over the years have become indispensable. The company’s longstanding presence in these regions not only ensures the continued availability of employment opportunities but also facilitates knowledge transfer and training programs.
Agnico Eagle and the gold mining industry’s expansion into the critical minerals sector signifies not just economic diversification but also a visionary response to contemporary challenges. By nurturing a skilled workforce, they position themselves as a driving force in the development of critical mineral deposits while effectively managing costs and mitigating the impacts of inflation and shifting demographics in Northern Ontario and Canada. 

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Tags: Northern Ontario / Operational Updates / Gold / All Articles