We couldn’t think of a better profile for our gold issue than Agnico Eagle Mines – a Canadian success story that will celebrate 60 years in business in October.
Simply put, the company represents some of the best qualities of Canadian mining.
Of Agnico’s eight mines, five are in Canada. Another – Meliadine – will soon make the tally six of nine.
The company has had a powerful impact on Nunavut, where its largest and first Low Arctic mine, Meadowbank, opened in 2010.
Because of its focus on quality assets and risk management, Agnico has been able to make acquisitions, actively explore and invest in new operations.
It’s also been open to innovation: Agnico is the first outside of South Africa to use the Rail-Veyor ore-conveying system at its Goldex underground mine in Quebec, where it recently declared commercial production from the Deep 1 zone.
Moreover, the company has had a deep and positive impact on local Inuit communities in Nunavut, which was described in an April article in Nunatsiaq Online. That impact is summed up best by Patrick Tagoona, the president of Nunavut Investments, who said in an April address to the Nunavut Mining Symposium in Iqualuit: “Meadowbank has literally created a new middle class. There are new opportunities that didn’t exist before.” It all adds up to the kind of company we want the public to think of when they think of Canadian mining companies.
Also in this issue, this year will see four major new gold mines come online in Canada (profiled on Page 18). It’s notable that three are owned by single-asset juniors, and one is owned by an intermediate gold producer.
Most of the large gold producers are still digesting big investments made during the last market peak and avoiding large capital outlays. Instead, they’re looking to increase productivity at existing operations while they pay down debt.
Scrappy smaller companies, meanwhile, are taking advantage of the gold’s continued strength. So far in 2017, the gold price has held up, despite interest rate hikes by the U.S. Federal Reserve and the expectation of further hikes – to develop new mines. (No doubt, the strength in gold is in part due to the unpredictability and instability of U.S. policy and politics under President Donald Trump.)
In addition to the new gold mines starting production this year, there are a number of junior-owned gold development projects that will become mines in the near future. This points to the resilience and strength of Canada’s mining sector. As Stan Sudol points out in his story profiling the current generation of Canadian mine builders on Page 23 – some of whom are leaders of these juniors – there’s no shortage of visionaries in our industry.
Last of all, hopefully you noticed that Canadian Mining Journal has a new look! We introduced our new logo on our website and in our e-newsletter, which is sent out to subscribers four times a week, in August. It’s been in the works for a while now because we recognize that the mining sector is changing and we wanted to reflect the modern industry with a cleaner, sleeker look.
We hope you’ll stick by us as we continue to evolve and focus on the conversations that matter in Canadian mining.