(All amounts expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted)
TORONTO, May 30, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE:AEM, TSX:AEM) ("Agnico Eagle" or the "Company") today reports that commercial production was achieved at the Company's Meliadine mine on May 14, 2019.
Located near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada, 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. In February 2017, the Company's Board of Directors approved the construction of the Meliadine project.
"Congratulations to all of our employees at Meliadine for achieving commercial production ahead of the original schedule and below the initial capital budget. We would 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 Chief Executive Officer. "With Meliadine ramping up production over the balance of the year and Amaruq on schedule to achieve commercial production in the third quarter of 2019, the Company is well positioned to achieve its gold production target of 1.75 million ounces for 2019", added Mr. 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 costs1 of $612 per ounce.
About Agnico Eagle
Agnico Eagle is a senior Canadian gold mining company that has produced precious metals since 1957. Its operating mines are located in Canada, Finland and Mexico, with exploration and development activities in each of these countries as well as in the United States and Sweden. The Company and its shareholders have full exposure to gold prices due to its long-standing policy of no forward gold sales. Agnico Eagle has declared a cash dividend every year since 1983.
Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance
This news release discloses certain measures, including "total cash costs per ounce", that are not standardized measures under IFRS. These data may not be comparable to data reported by other issuers.
The total cash costs per ounce of gold produced is reported on both a by-product basis (deducting by-product metal revenues from production costs) and co-product basis (before deducting by-product metal revenues). The total cash costs per ounce of gold produced on a by-product basis is calculated by adjusting production costs as recorded in the consolidated statements of income for by-product revenues, unsold concentrate inventory production costs, smelting, refining and marketing charges and other adjustments, and then dividing by the number of ounces of gold produced. The total cash costs per ounce of gold produced on a co-product basis is calculated in the same manner as the total cash costs per ounce of gold produced on a by-product basis, except that no adjustment is made for by-product metal revenues. Accordingly, the calculation of total cash costs per ounce of gold produced on a co-product basis does not reflect a reduction in production costs or smelting, refining and marketing charges associated with the production and sale of by-product metals. The total cash costs per ounce of gold produced is intended to provide information about the cash-generating capabilities of the Company's mining operations. Management also uses this measure to monitor the performance of the Company's mining operations. As market prices for gold are quoted on a per ounce basis, using the total cash costs per ounce of gold produced on a by-product basis measure allows management to assess a mine's cash-generating capabilities at various gold prices.
This news release also contains information as to estimated future total cash costs per ounce that the Company expects to incur to mine gold at its Meliadine mine and, consistent with the reconciliation of these actual costs referred to above, does not include production costs attributable to accretion expense and other asset retirement costs, which will vary over time as each project is developed and mined. It is therefore not practicable to reconcile these forward-looking non-GAAP financial measures to the most comparable IFRS measure.
The information in this news release has been prepared as at May 30, 2019. Certain statements contained in this news release constitute "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and "forward-looking information" under the provisions of Canadian provincial securities laws and are referred to herein as "forward-looking statements". When used in this news release, the words "anticipate", "could", "estimate", "expect", "forecast", "future", "plan", "possible", "potential", "will" and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. Such statements include, without limitation: the Company's forward-looking production guidance, including project timelines, metal production, life of mine estimates and total cash costs per ounce; statements concerning the Company's ongoing construction activities at Amaruq, including the timing, funding, completion and commissioning thereof; statements regarding timing and amounts of capital expenditures and other expenditures; estimates of future mineral production; and estimates of future capital expenditures. Such statements reflect the Company's views as at the date of this news release and are subject to certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions, and undue reliance should not be placed on such statements. Forward-looking statements are necessarily based upon a number of factors and assumptions that, while considered reasonable by Agnico Eagle as of the date of such statements, are inherently subject to significant business, economic and competitive uncertainties and contingencies. The material factors and assumptions used in the preparation of the forward looking statements contained herein, which may prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to, the assumptions set forth herein and in management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") and the Company's Annual Information Form ("AIF") for the year ended December 31, 2018 filed with Canadian securities regulators and that are included in its Annual Report on Form 40-F for the year ended December 31, 2018 ("Form 40-F") filed with the SEC as well as: that there are no significant disruptions affecting operations; that production, permitting, development and expansion at each of Agnico Eagle's properties proceeds on a basis consistent with current expectations and plans; that the relevant metal prices, foreign exchange rates and prices for key mining and construction supplies will be consistent with Agnico Eagle's expectations; that Agnico Eagle's current estimates of mineral reserves, mineral resources, mineral grades and metal recovery are accurate; that there are no material delays in the timing for completion of ongoing growth projects; that the Company's current plans to optimize production are successful; and that there are no material variations in the current tax and regulatory environment. Many factors, known and unknown, could cause the actual results to be materially different from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Such risks include, but are not limited to: the volatility of prices of gold and other metals; uncertainty of mineral reserves, mineral resources, mineral grades and mineral recovery estimates; uncertainty of future production, project development, capital expenditures and other costs; foreign exchange rate fluctuations; financing of additional capital requirements; cost of exploration and development programs; seismic activity at the Company's operations, including the LaRonde mine; mining risks; community protests, including by First Nations groups; risks associated with foreign operations; the unfavorable outcome of litigation involving the Partnership; governmental and environmental regulation; the volatility of the Company's stock price; and risks associated with the Company's currency, fuel and by-product metal derivative strategies. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other factors that may affect the Company's ability to achieve the expectations set forth in the forward-looking statements contained in this news release, see the AIF and MD&A filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and included in the Form 40-F filed on EDGAR at www.sec.gov, as well as the Company's other filings with the Canadian securities regulators and the SEC. Other than as required by law, the Company does not intend, and does not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements.
Notes to Investors Regarding the Use of Mineral Resources
Cautionary Note to Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured and Indicated Mineral Resources
This news release uses the terms "measured mineral resources" and "indicated mineral resources". Investors are advised that while those terms are recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the SEC does not recognize them. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of mineral deposits in these categories will ever be converted into mineral reserves.
Cautionary Note to Investors Concerning Estimates of Inferred Mineral Resources
This news release also uses the term "inferred mineral resources". Investors are advised that while this term is recognized and required by Canadian regulations, the SEC does not recognize it. "Inferred mineral resources" have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence, and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Under Canadian rules, estimates of inferred mineral resources may not form the basis of feasibility or pre-feasibility studies, except in rare cases. Investors are cautioned not to assume that any part or all of an inferred mineral resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.
Scientific and Technical Data
The scientific and technical information contained in this news release relating to Nunavut operations has been approved by Dominique Girard, Eng., Vice-President, Nunavut Operations, who is a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of National Instrument 43-101 Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects ("NI 43-101"). The scientific and technical information relating to Agnico Eagle's mineral reserves and mineral resources contained herein has been approved by Daniel Doucet, Eng., Senior Corporate Director, Reserve Development, who is a "Qualified Person" for the purposes of NI 43-101.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors – The SEC permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. Agnico Eagle reports mineral reserve and mineral resource estimates in accordance with the Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum Best Practice Guidelines for Exploration and Best Practice Guidelines for Estimation of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves, in accordance with NI 43-101. These standards are similar to those used by the SEC's Industry Guide No. 7, as interpreted by Staff at the SEC ("Guide 7"). However, the definitions in NI 43-101 differ in certain respects from those under Guide 7. Accordingly, mineral reserve information contained herein may not be comparable to similar information disclosed by U.S. companies. Under the requirements of the SEC, mineralization may not be classified as a "reserve" unless the determination has been made that the mineralization could be economically and legally produced or extracted at the time the reserve determination is made. A "final" or "bankable" feasibility study is required to meet the requirements to designate mineral reserves under Guide 7. Agnico Eagle uses certain terms in this news release, such as "measured", "indicated", "inferred" and "resources" that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC. However, in October 2018, the SEC approved final rules requiring comprehensive and detailed disclosure requirements for issuers with material mining operations. The new SEC rules will replace Guide 7 and are intended to align the SEC's disclosure requirements more closely with NI 43-101. Under the new SEC rules, SEC registrants will be permitted to disclose "mineral resources" even though they reflect a lower level of certainty than mineral reserves.
In prior periods, mineral reserves for all properties were typically estimated using historic three-year average metals prices and foreign exchange rates in accordance with the SEC guidelines. These guidelines require the use of prices that reflect current economic conditions at the time of mineral reserve determination, which the Staff of the SEC has interpreted to mean historic three-year average prices. Given the current commodity price environment, Agnico Eagle uses price assumptions that are below the three-year averages.
NI 43-101 requires mining companies to disclose mineral reserves and mineral resources using the subcategories of "proven mineral reserves", "probable mineral reserves", "measured mineral resources", "indicated mineral resources" and "inferred mineral resources". Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.
A mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of a measured and/or indicated mineral resource. It includes diluting materials and allowances for losses, which may occur when the material is mined or extracted and is defined by studies at pre-feasibility or feasibility level as appropriate that include application of modifying factors. Such studies demonstrate that, at the time of reporting, extraction could reasonably be justified. The mineral reserves presented in this news release are separate from and not a portion of the mineral resources.
Modifying factors are considerations used to convert mineral resources to mineral reserves. These include, but are not restricted to, mining, processing, metallurgical, infrastructure, economic, marketing, legal, environmental, social and governmental factors.
A proven mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of a measured mineral resource. A proven mineral reserve implies a high degree of confidence in the modifying factors. A probable mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of an indicated and, in some circumstances, a measured mineral resource. The confidence in the modifying factors applying to a probable mineral reserve is lower than that applying to a proven mineral reserve.
A mineral resource is a concentration or occurrence of solid material of economic interest in or on the Earth's crust in such form, grade or quality and quantity that there are reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade or quality, continuity and other geological characteristics of a mineral resource are known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and knowledge, including sampling.
A measured mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics are estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the application of modifying factors to support detailed mine planning and final evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Geological evidence is derived from detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing and is sufficient to confirm geological and grade or quality continuity between points of observation. An indicated mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and physical characteristics are estimated with sufficient confidence to allow the application of modifying factors in sufficient detail to support mine planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. Geological evidence is derived from adequately detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and testing and is sufficient to assume geological and grade or quality continuity between points of observation. An inferred mineral resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and grade or quality are estimated on the basis of limited geological evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is sufficient to imply but not verify geological and grade or quality continuity.
Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred mineral resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.
A feasibility study is a comprehensive technical and economic study of the selected development option for a mineral project that includes appropriately detailed assessments of applicable modifying factors, together with any other relevant operational factors and detailed financial analysis that are necessary to demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that extraction is reasonably justified (economically mineable). The results of the study may reasonably serve as the basis for a final decision by a proponent or financial institution to proceed with, or finance, the development of the project. The confidence level of the study will be higher than that of a pre-feasibility study.
Additional information about each of the mineral projects that is required by NI 43-101, sections 3.2 and 3.3 and paragraphs 3.4(a), (c) and (d) can be found in Technical Reports, which may be found at www.sedar.com. Other important operating information can be found in the Company's AIF, MD&A and Form 40-F.
Property/Project name and location
Date of most recent
Meadowbank Gold Complex including the
February 14, 2018
Meliadine, Nunavut, Canada
February 11, 2015
1 Total cash costs per ounce is a non-GAAP measure and, unless otherwise specified, is reported on a by-product basis. See "Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance".
SOURCE Agnico Eagle Mines Limited