- Partner News
- Media Releases
- Mainstream News
TORONTO, Aug. 11, 2022 – Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM) (TSX: AEM) (“Agnico Eagle” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide an update on exploration activities at several projects and select mine sites. The Company’s exploration focus remains on pipeline projects, near-mine opportunities and mineral reserve and mineral resource replacement and growth. Exploration highlights during the first half of 2022 include:
“The Company’s ambitious exploration program for 2022 is yielding exciting results. At Detour Lake, the step-out drilling suggests good potential for an underground operation and extensions to the current open pits. At Canadian Malartic, the step-out drilling continues to significantly extend the East Gouldie deposit to the east and the west. At Hope Bay, the drill results confirm the expansion of the Doris deposit at depth with wide high grade intercepts, well ahead of our expectations,” said Ammar Al-Joundi, Agnico Eagle’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “In addition, we continue to generate significant exploration results at producing assets including Fosterville, Meliadine, LaRonde and Kittila. With these positive results, we are adding $30 million dollars to our exploration budget in 2022 as we aim to accelerate the realization of the full potential of existing operations and key projects in the Company’s pipeline,” added Mr. Al-Joundi.
Based on positive exploration results in the first half of 2022, a supplemental exploration budget of $30 million has been approved – The Company has numerous mines and pipeline projects with excellent potential to replace and increase mineral reserves and has prioritized assessing the full potential of its portfolio through exploration (see the Company’s news release dated February 23, 2022 for a breakdown of the 2022 exploration budget). Positive exploration results in the first half of 2022 support the focused addition of supplemental budgets at several projects. An update on selected exploration programs and budgets is set out in the sections below.
Targeting growth of the Company’s mineral reserves and mineral resources at year-end 2022 from a record level at year-end 2021 – At December 31, 2021, Agnico Eagle’s proven and probable mineral reserve estimate totaled approximately 25.7 million ounces of gold, consisting of 2.4 million ounces of gold of proven mineral reserves (38.7 million tonnes grading 1.92 g/t gold) and of 23.3 million ounces of probable mineral reserves (298.3 million tonnes grading 2.43 g/t gold.) This was an increase of approximately 1.6 million ounces of gold (7%) and a 10% increase in grade compared with the prior year. At December 31, 2021, prior to the Merger, Kirkland Lake Gold’s proven and probable mineral reserves totaled approximately 18.9 million ounces of gold, consisting of 3.7 million ounces of gold of proven mineral reserves (81.7 million tonnes grading 1.41 g/t gold) and of 15.2 million ounces of probable mineral reserves (502 million tonnes grading 0.94 g/t gold).
For a breakdown of the Company’s mineral reserves and mineral resources as at December 31, 2021 by deposit refer to the Company’s news release dated February 23, 2022. For Detour Lake’s mineral reserves and mineral resources as at March 31, 2022 refer to the Detour Lake section of this new release and the Company’s news release dated July 27, 2022.
A wide selection of recent drill results is compiled in a table in the Appendix to this news release, while highlight intercepts are set out in the sections below. Drill hole collar coordinates for the holes in this news release are also set out in the Appendix.
ABITIBI REGION, QUEBEC
Agnico Eagle is Quebec’s largest gold producer with a 100% interest in the LaRonde complex (which includes the LaRonde and LaRonde Zone 5 (“LZ5”) mines), the Goldex mine and a 50% interest in the Canadian Malartic mine. The Company has a multi-decade track record of exploration success in the Abitibi region, building on the discovery in the 1980s of the world-class LaRonde gold-rich polymetallic volcanic massive sulphide deposit, which has served as an operations and exploration hub that provides operating synergies to the Company’s nearby mines and allows for the sharing of technical expertise.
LaRonde Complex – Three Underground Development Drifts Progressing Westward from LaRonde 3 Infrastructure; Drilling on Level 9 Tests Vertical Extension of Zone 3-1; Infill Drilling Confirms Grade and Width of Zone 11-3; Drilling Shows Potential for Westward Extension of LZ5 Mineralization
At the LaRonde complex, the Company now expects to spend approximately $14.8 million in 2022 to drill 43,500 metres and to develop, extend or rehabilitate three new exploration drifts on levels 9, 215 and 290 West from the LaRonde 3 infrastructure towards the west below the LZ5 mine workings.
A total of 13,434 metres of definition and exploration drilling was completed in the first half of 2022, amid a challenging environment for diamond driller staffing and as new exploration drifts are being developed for future drilling.
In the track drift on Level 9, a second drill station has been completed and a drill rig is now operating and targeting the down-plunge extension of the historical Bousquet Zone 3-1.
In the exploration drift on Level 215, the development is progressing faster than budgeted with a total of 1,015 metres developed in the first half of 2022. The rehabilitation work is completed, and the drift is currently being extended further to the west. Considering the good progress being made, the Company has allocated an additional $2.9 million budget to extend the exploration drift compared to the original February budget. A first drill is expected to be mobilized into the drift in the second quarter of 2023. The exploration drilling program from the Level 215 exploration drift will test vertical extensions between 1.5 and 3 kilometres depth of several known mineralized zones — Zone 3-1, Zone 3-4, the Bousquet 1 mine and the LZ5 mine — as the drift is advanced to the west.
In the exploration drift on Level 290 West, development progressed by 136 metres during the first half of 2022 before being paused until year-end to focus on Level 215 and other priority developments in the mine.
At the LZ5 mine, Zone 5 was extended to the west during the first half of 2022, with recent drilling highlights that included: 2.4 g/t gold over 18.1 metres at 692 metres depth in hole BZ-2021-008; 1.4 g/t gold over 16.0 metres at 1,017 metres depth in hole BZ-2021-009; and 2.1 g/t gold over 17.5 metres at 841 metres depth in hole BZ-2022-001. These wide and low-grade intercepts show the potential for the vertical and westward extension of Zone 5 mineral reserves and mineral resources onto the Company’s 100%-owned Ellison property, which is immediately adjacent to the infrastructure at the LZ5 mine.
In Zone LR11-3, which is located at depth in the past-producing Bousquet 2 mine, infill drilling was completed to validate historical results and infill the zone prior to development in the ore. Gold production from LR11-3 development ore is expected to begin in late 2022 and full production is expected to start in the first half of 2023.
Selected recent drill results from Zone LR11-3 and the LZ5 mine are set out in a table in the Appendix and in the composite longitudinal map below.
Goldex – Exploration Continues to Expand South Zone; Drilling Ongoing into Mineralization Below the Deep 2 Zone and in the West Area
At the Goldex mine, the Company expects to spend approximately $5.6 million in 2022 for 45,300 metres of drilling comprised of 39,300 metres of conversion drilling and 6,000 metres of exploration drilling, focused on the South Zone, M Zone, West area and at depth in the Deep 3 Zone.
The main target of exploration at Goldex in 2022 is the South Zone, which is located in the volcanic rocks south of the Goldex main deposit. The South Zone gold mineralization is hosted in multiple quartz-biotite-sulphide veins that have higher grades than those in the primary mineralized zones at Goldex.
Seven drills are currently active on the property and have completed a total of 22,036 metres of capitalized definition drilling and 1,697 metres of expensed exploration drilling during the first half of 2022.
Recent results from the western extension of the South Zone in Sector 2 include a highlight of 14.7 g/t gold over 3.0 metres at 955 metres depth in hole GD96-002. In the eastern extension of the South Zone, in Sector 3, the conversion drilling program continues to return excellent results, including 4.1 g/t gold over 20.0 metres at 1,291 metres depth in hole GD128-057. The Company expects that the South Zone will be an important contributor to the replacement of mineral reserves at Goldex at year-end 2022.
Exploration is also being conducted to test the deposit at depth below the Deep 2 mine and in the West area.
Selected recent drill results from Goldex are set out in the table in the Appendix and in the composite longitudinal section below.
Odyssey Project – Infill Drilling Progressing in the Odyssey South Zone with Expectations of Initial Mineral Reserves to be Declared at Year-end 2022 and Pre-commercial Production to Begin before the end of March 2023 from an Underground Ramp; Infill Drilling at East Gouldie Continues to Confirm Grade and Width in the Core of the Deposit while Exploration Drilling Continues to Expand the Zone to the East and West; Underground Development and Surface Construction Progressing on Schedule and on Budget
At the Canadian Malartic mine, the Company expects to spend approximately $11.9 million (50% basis) in 2022 for 136,800 metres (100% basis) of exploration and conversion drilling focused on aggressive infill drilling of the East Gouldie deposit to improve confidence in the mineral resource, to continue the conversion of inferred mineral resources to indicated mineral resources and to refine the geological model. With ramp development continuing as part of the Odyssey mine project, Canadian Malartic GP (the “Partnership”) is conducting underground conversion drilling from the ramp.
Twenty drills are currently active on the property, with four underground drills completing infill drilling on the Odyssey South deposit, 12 surface drills focused on infilling and expanding the East Gouldie mineralization and four drills active in regional exploration. The Partnership drilled 95,030 metres (100% basis) during the first half of 2022.
Underground development in the first half of 2022 completed 685 metres of ramp and 2,622 metres of lateral development, with the ramp now reaching a depth of 380 metres below surface.
Selected recent exploration drill results from Odyssey South, East Gouldie and the regional program on the wider Canadian Malartic property portfolio are set out in a table in the Appendix and in the composite longitudinal section below.
Drilling from underground gradually increased during the first half of 2022 as ramp development provided access to new diamond drill bays to test the Odyssey South and Odyssey Internal zones. Recent results continue to confirm the grades of these zones and the Company expects that the core portion of the Odyssey South deposit will be classified as mineral reserves at year-end 2022, with pre-commercial production to begin before the end of March 2023. The new underground access also allowed for additional drilling into the Odyssey internal zones where recent results continue to better define the continuity of zones within the porphyry, which is expected to have a positive impact on the mineral resources update at year-end.
With the continued success at infilling East Gouldie at 75-metre spacing in the core of the deposit, the Company expects a significant portion of the East Gouldie deposit to be classified as indicated mineral resources at year-end 2022.
Recent expansion drilling to the west at depth is producing positive results, with highlight hole MEX22-231 returning 1.8 g/t gold over 62.9 metres at 1,580 metres depth in the western extension of the East Gouldie deposit approximately 225 metres west of the current mineral resources outline (previously reported on July 27, 2022). This intercept is approximately halfway between the East Gouldie deposit and the Norrie Zone to the west and shows the potential for East Gouldie to connect with other mineral inventories in the Norrie and South Sladen mineralized zones that are not yet classified as mineral resources.
In regional exploration at Canadian Malartic, the Company is planning to spend approximately $4.1 million (50% basis) in 2022 on 21,900 metres (100% basis) primarily to expand mineralization towards the east in the East Gouldie horizon and the new Titan zone at depth on the Rand Malartic property. During the first half of 2022, 18,896 metres (100% basis) were completed on the Rand Malartic, East Amphi and Midway properties.
On the Rand Malartic property, the priority remains to test the eastern extension of the East Gouldie deposit while also testing the eastern extension of the Odyssey North and Odyssey South zones associated with porphyry mineralization within the Piché Group. As previously disclosed during the first quarter of 2022, the Partnership repurchased the 2% NSR royalty on the Rand Malartic property for $7 million.
Recent hole RD20-4677B has intersected a new mineralized porphyry intrusion, returning 1.6 g/t gold over 29.3 metres (core length) at 1,208 metres depth approximately 820 metres east of the easternmost limit of Odyssey South Zone mineral resources, demonstrating potential to discover “Odyssey North and South” style of mineralization as exploration drilling advances towards the east.
In the eastern extension of East Gouldie, previously reported hole RD21-4689AA intersected 3.1 g/t gold over 7.9 metres (core length) at 2,537 metres depth, making it the deepest and easternmost drill hole to date. This intersection extends the East Gouldie mineralized corridor eastward by 500 metres, to approximately 1,700 metres east of the current mineral resources outline. Mineralization remains open to the east.
East Amphi and Camflo
Elsewhere on the Partnership’s 13,582 hectare land position, exploration continues with work testing the deep extension of the East Amphi deposit and the ongoing compilation of all historical information around the Camflo deposit on the Camflo property, which the Partnership acquired in 2021.
The Camflo property lies to the north of the Odyssey project and includes the past producing Camflo mine which had historical production of approximately 1.6 million ounces of gold.
The Partnership’s initial evaluation of the Camflo property has identified porphyry hosted gold mineralization that could potentially be mined via an open pit. Additional studies are underway to evaluate this mineralization and additional potential mineralization in adjacent rock types. A follow-up exploration program is planned for Camflo in 2023.
ABITIBI REGION, ONTARIO
264 total views, 2 views today