Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (TSX: AEM) reports that commercial production was achieved at its Meliadine mine on May 14, 2019. Located near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, the Meliadine project was acquired in July 2010 and is Agnico Eagle’s largest gold deposit in terms of mineral resources. The company owns 100% of the 111,358-hectare property.
“Congratulations to all of our employees at Meliadine for achieving commercial production ahead of the original schedule and below the initial capital budget. We’d also like to thank the various government agencies and the local communities for their support of the project and our efforts in Nunavut,” said Sean Boyd, Agnico Eagle’s CEO. “With Meliadine ramping up production over the balance of the year and Amaruq on schedule to achieve commercial production in Q3 of 2019, the company is well-positioned to achieve its gold production target of 1.75 million ounces for 2019,” added Boyd.
Initial ore processing commenced in early February 2019 using low-grade stockpiles. Pre-commercial payable gold production totaled 47,281 ounces, compared to guidance of 60,000 ounces, while pre-production gold sales totaled 28,855 ounces. Total project construction costs (after crediting pre-commercial gold sales) are below the 2017 guidance of $900 million. A further update on capital costs will be provided with the Company’s 2019 second quarter results.
Expected production at Meliadine for 2019 remains unchanged at approximately 230,000 ounces of gold (including pre-commercial production) at total cash costs of $612 per ounce.