Agnico Eagle presses the start button on two new Nunavut mines – by Jim Bell (Nunatsiaq News – February 16, 2017)

Company will invest US $1.2 billion on construction at Meliadine, Amaruq

After 10 years in Nunavut, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. will invest more than $1.2 billion to construct two new Kivalliq region gold mines that will likely produce local jobs and contract opportunities for many more years to come.

The company pressed the start button Feb. 15 on its long-awaited Meliadine mine near Rankin Inlet and its proposed satellite mine at Amaruq near the company’s existing operation at Meadowbank, which is nearing the end of its life.

To do that, they’ll invest US$900 million between now and 2019 to construct Meliadine and about US$330 million to bring the Amaruq deposit into commercial production, with the expectation that they can start shipping gold from each project by the third quarter of 2019.

“That’s a significant investment and that speaks to the confidence that we have in our abilities and our willingness to do business in Nunavut,” Agnico Eagle’s CEO, Sean Boyd, told Nunatsiaq News.

“But we also look at Nunavut as a place where we can build a platform for as long as we built a platform in Quebec, which is multiple decades. We’re happy to be in Nunavut, we’re happy to be contributing.”

Agnico Eagle has operated its flagship La Ronde mine in Quebec for more than 28 years, since 1988, and estimates there are nine years left in its life-cycle. Right now, the company estimates Meliadine’s mine life at 14 years, during which time it expects to produce at least 5.3 million ounces of gold.

At Amaruq, they forecast the production right now of about 1.98 million ounces of gold over a mine life of about six years.

Agnico Eagle already possesses all permits and licences required to build the Meliadine mine, having received a project certificate for it in March 2015 from the Nunavut Impact Review Board. And in January 2016, they completed the negotiation of a revised Inuit impact and benefits agreement with the Kivalliq Inuit Association.

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