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2010 Mining Explorers: Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd.

 

Last updated 10/31/2010 at Noon



AEM: TSX

Vice-chairman and CEO: Sean Boyd, C.A.

President and COO: Eberhard Scherkus, P. Eng.

Senior Vice President, Exploration: Alain Blackburn, P. Eng.

Agnico-Eagle is an international growth company focused on gold exploration and development activities in four countries.

Agnico-Eagle's LaRonde Mine in Quebec is Canada's largest operating gold mine in terms of reserves.

In March, the 37-year-old company achieved commercial production at its Meadowbank Gold Mine located in the Kivalliq region of Nunavut about 70 kilometers, or 43 miles, north of the community of Baker Lake.

During the second quarter, the mine reported an operating profit (before depreciation) of C$35.2 million compared with C$2.2 million during the first quarter of 2010.

The Meadowbank deposits have probable gold reserves of at least 3.6 million ounces (32.8 million metric tons at 3.5 grams per metric ton) and remain open on strike and at depth.

Gold production at Meadowbank in 2010 is expected to be total about 300,000 ounces.

Life of mine average annual gold production is expected to be average 350,000 ounces through 2019.

During the second quarter of 2010, Meadowbank's mill processed an average of 6,262 t/d, with several days in June exceeding 9,000 t/d.

However, since its February startup, Meadowbank's unit costs have been negatively impacted by harder ore, less than optimal fragmentation from the pit and a different particle size gradation from the crusher than expected.

To solve these issues Agnico-Eagle said it is installing a permanent secondary crushing unit in the front end of the circuit, similar to a solution adopted at one of the company's other gold mines.

However, this has negatively impacted both capital and operating cost estimates for the mine in 2010.

This secondary crusher should be installed and be operational in the first half of 2011.

In the meantime, a portable crushing unit is being used.

Gold production at Meadowbank in 2010 is expected to be about 300,000 ounces.

Life of mine average annual gold production is expected to average 350,000 ounces through 2019.

A study examining the possibility of increasing the production rate at Meadowbank is partially complete.

The study was scheduled to be completed in 2010.

However, due to ongoing optimization efforts, the study is being delayed until the mine reaches steady state and further underground drilling is completed.

Agnico-Eagle is investigating the possibility of underground operations at Meadowbank.

In July, Agnico-Eagle completed the purchase of Meliadine Holdings Inc. (formerly Comaplex Minerals Corp) which owned the Meliadine gold exploration properties in Nunavut.

The advanced stage Meliadine gold project is located about 300 kilometers, or 186 miles, from Meadowbank.

First discovered in 1990, Meliadine currently has 3.29 million ounces of measured and indicated gold resources in 12,947,500 metric tons grading 7.9 grams per metric ton and inferred gold resources of 1.73 million ounces in 8,385,600 metric tons grading 6.4 g/t.

The deposit remains open for expansion and a large-scale exploration program was approved and is underway.

Through early 2013, it is anticipated that about C$62 million will be spent on drilling about 200,000 meters with the main focus being on converting the resource at the high grade Tiriganiaq zone to reserves.

An underground bulk sample also will be completed along with a feasibility study, permitting and road construction.

Total expenditures over thes period are expected to be about C$130 million.

Agnico-Eagle said it would report initial results from the drilling and those from its other exploration programs in the fall of 2010.

Cash and short-term deposits: C$152.8 million (at June 30, 2010)

Working capital: C$459.2 million (at June 30, 2010)

Market capitalization: C$11.6 billion (approx.)

145 King St. East, Suite 400 • Toronto, ON Canada M5C 2Y7

Tel: 416-947-1212 • Fax: 416-367-4681

http://www.agnico-eagle.com

 

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