Agnico Eagle won’t resume gold production at Hope Bay in 2022

Company says wants to focus on exploration, rather than running its ‘low-volume/high-cost’ Doris mine

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. doesn’t plan to produce gold at its Hope Bay property in 2022, and instead plans to focus on exploration activities. (File photo courtesy of TMAC Resources Inc.)

By David Venn
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. says it won’t be producing gold at its Hope Bay property in western Nunavut throughout 2022.

That means no royalty payments or contracts tied to production at the company’s Doris mine, where production was first suspended in October.

Company spokesperson Sonja Galton said the company is focusing on exploring and expanding the property.

The company had to weigh the “importance of growing Hope Bay’s gold resources to support future expansion as opposed to maintaining low-volume/high-cost mine production operation,” Galton wrote in an email.

Exploration equipment will remain at the Doris mine, and the underground area at the mine will remain open for exploration activities.

Nunavut Tunngavik Inc. and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association will not receive royalties while production is stopped, but Galton said royalties will resume if exploration goes well and the company decides to produce more gold.

Both the company’s direct employees and employees of contractors in the Kitikmeot region hired by Agnico Eagle will be affected by production temporarily ending, Galton said. But she said the company will be hiring workers and businesses from the region for its exploration work.

Hiring is set to begin in March, depending on how the COVID-19 pandemic is playing out in the territory, she said.

Galton said the company is planning to send some of its workers in Hope Bay to other mine sites in Canada, and the rest will be laid off within the next four weeks.

Agnico Eagle bought TMAC Resources Inc. in February 2021, acquiring the 80-km-by-20-km Hope Bay property.

The company planned to spend $16.2 million in 2021 for nearly 70,000 metres of drilling at Hope Bay, according to the company’s website, but Galton said that number is not confirmed yet.

This year’s exploration activities are still under review, and so Galton said she didn’t know how much it will cost the company.

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(5) Comments:

  1. Posted by Andrew Akerolik on

    Hto/Hta you want to stop mining exploration, get caribou collar maps where caribou migrate , send them to Nirb .

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    • Posted by Brilliant! on

      This is a great idea!

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    • Posted by Genius! on

      This is such a good idea, you’d think somebody would have thought of it before!
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      Like, you’d think if you went to Google, and typed in “Nunavut Caribou Collar”, that you might get some search result from CBC or something, like, “Nunavut plans to collar 55 more caribou in Kitikmeot and Kivalliq regions”, where they talk about how they’ve been collaring caribou since 1993. Or something like that.
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      Gosh darn, what a good idea.

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  2. Posted by David Kaosoni on

    Hi, KIA and NTI:

    Make Queen Maud Gulf Bird Sanctuary into National Park. Let’s make opportunities for our future Land Claim beneficiary generations to come before it gets spoiled by the mining industry. They keep calling on and off their operations which is not very good.

    This suggestion would be on-going and benefit many of our beneficiaries through the National Park Services Canada, and attract national and international opportunities. There are many rivers that can be change to heritage rivers.

    The way it is currently, I have never benefit from this Sanctuary since its creation, except maybe handful of beneficiaries. Although it is my birthland, I would like to see it benefitting some of us and our future generations.

    Thank you

    DK

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  3. Posted by Umingmak on

    Eco-colonialists opposing resource extraction in the north are only harming Inuit, and preventing people from making livable paycheques. We need many more mines, and we need oil & gas in the north!

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