Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI; NYSE, LSE: AUY) and Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX, NYSE: AEM)have approved the $1.7-billion construction of the Odyssey gold project at the Canadian Malartic mine in Quebec.
Canadian Malartic, located in the Abitibi region, is a 50-50 joint venture between Yamana and Agnico. The mine churned out more than 660,000 oz. of gold in 2019.
The underground project will extend the life of Canada’s largest operating open pit gold mine – to 2039, yielding an average of 545,000 oz. a year from 2029 to 2039, at a total cash cost of US$630/oz.
“One of Canada’s largest underground gold mining projects will come to fruition right here in Malartic. The future mine’s life is expected to extend until 2039 and operations could continue well beyond that, given the deposit’s significant potential,” said operator Canadian Malartic mine general manager Serge Blais in a statement.
An NI 43-101 technical report for the Canadian Malartic operation is expected to be filed in March and will include a summary of the Odyssey underground project.
From 2029 to 2039, the underground operation will be in full production, producing an expected 500,000 to 600,000 ounces per year, according to Yamana Gold.
“This represents an increase over the company’s initial estimate for an annual production platform of approximately 450,000 ounces,” the miner said.
Yamana reported full-year gold-equivalent production of 901,155 oz. in 2020, including 779,810 oz. of gold and 10.4 million oz. of silver, exceeding its 890,000 oz. guidance for the year.
The company expects gold output of 862,000 oz. in 2021, 870,000 oz. in 2022 and 889,000 oz. in 2023. Silver production is forecast to decrease over the next three years, with 10 million oz. expected in 2021.
Yamana’s net earnings surged to US$103 million, from US$14.6 million a year earlier.
Agnico on Thursday also reported record net income of US$511.6-million for 2020, compared with income of $473.2-million in 2019.
Payable gold production in 2020 was 1.7 million oz. at an all-in sustaining cost of US$1,051 per oz., topping the group’s guidance of 1.68 million to 1.73 million oz. at an AISC of between US$1,025 per oz. and US$1,075 per oz.
Agnico’s gold production guidance for 2021 remains between 2.05 million and 2.1 million oz. for 2022.