Nunavut mine owner eyes open pit satellite for Meadowbank (Nunatsiaq News – August 21, 2015)

AEM believes Amaruq gold deposit, at two million ounces and growing, might extend Meadowbank’s lifespan

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. will study the possibility of transforming its promising Amaruq project, now estimated at two million ounces of gold, into a satellite open pit connected to Meadowbank, the company said Aug. 19.

“This rapidly growing deposit remains a focus for the company given its economic potential, partly due to its close proximity to Agnico Eagle’s nearby Meadowbank mine and mill,” the company said in a news release.

The company said in June that drill teams had continued to find high-grade samples at its new Amaruq site that “exceed our expectations.”

Right now, the Meadowbank mine and mill, which started up in 2010 to become Agnico Eagle’s biggest gold producer, is expected to churn out gold bars until the third quarter of 2018.

But there’s now a possibility that an operation at Amaruq, about 50 kilometres from the existing mine and mill, could extend Meadowbank’s lifespan beyond that date.

“The extension of the Meadowbank mine life is expected to help bridge the production gap between the end of production at Meadowbank and the potential start of production at a satellite operation at Amaruq…,” AEM says on its website.

At the same time, the company cautions that any future exploration expenditures and any future decision to develop Amaruq beyond 2015 are subject to the approval of its board of directors

But the company is still preparing for a potential future application to submit to regulators for an operation at Amaruq.

“Engineering and environmental baseline studies are underway to support the permitting process for Amaruq as a potential satellite open pit to the Meadowbank mine,” AEM said.

And early this year, they applied to Nunavut regulators for permission to build an all-weather access road between Meadowbank and the Amaruq deposit.

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