First gold bar poured at Nunavut's Meliadine mine
Owner Agnico Eagle says pour signals the mine is close to commercial production
Agnico Eagle says it poured the first gold bar at its Meliadine gold mine in Nunavut on Feb. 21.
The Canadian gold mining company said the pour signals that its newest mine, located in the Kivalliq region, is "very close" to beginning commercial production.
"That first bar is the really the biggest milestone after a period of high investment and heavy work from the whole team from Meliadine," said Martin Plante, director general of Meliadine. "Last week it was really a celebration."
Plante said the company expects the mine to produce around 400,000 ounces of gold per year until the end of its life, which is estimated to be about 14 years from now.
The company is still doing exploration with the aim of extending the mine's life, he said.
About 550 people are on site at Meliadine at any given time, said Plante, and another 100 workers may be hired further into production.
It's unclear, however, how many of the mine's current employees are from the Kivalliq. That number is expected to appear in the company's annual report.
Agnico Eagle is expected to pay $450 million in royalties to the Kivalliq Inuit Association and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. over the projected 15-year life of the mines.
- A previous version of this story stated Agnico Eagle paid $450 million in royalties to the Kivalliq Inuit Association and Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. last year. In fact, $450 million is what it’s expected to pay over the projected 15-year life of the mines.Mar 04, 2019 12:19 PM CT
With files from Claudiane Samson