Agnico has record gold reserves after 10.5% increase in 2023

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Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM-TSX, AEM-NYSE) said its gold reserves reached a record level at the end of 2023 after increasing by 10.5% to 53.8 million ounces.

The company said the year-over-year increase is largely due to the acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the Canadian Malartic complex in Quebec and declaration of initial reserves at Malartic’s East Gouldie deposit.

Agnico-Eagle acquired Yamana Gold’s 50% interest in Canadian Malartic back in March, 2023. Canadian Malartic ranks among the world’s largest gold mining operations, consisting of the Canadian Malartic open-pit mine and the underground Odyssey mine.

The acquisition of the remaining 50% interest in the complex added 1.5 million ounces of gold in mineral reserves, 3.1 million ounce of gold in measured and indicated resources and 4.7 million ounces of gold in inferred resources to Agnico’s inventory.

“Since the initial discovery of the East Gouldie deposit in late 2018, the company has made tremendous progress bringing the Odyssey mine into production, initiating the transition from the largest open pit gold mine in Canada to the largest underground mine in Canada,’’ the company has said.

At the end of 2023, inferred mineral resources at East Gouldie stood at 3.3 million ounces of gold (545.2 million tonnes of grade 2.29 g/t gold).

Agnico said it has budgeted $336.7 million for exploration spending and project expenses in 2024. That amount will consist of $151.1 million for expensed exploration, $107.9 million for capitalized exploration and $77.7 million for project studies, technical services and other corporate expenses.

Exploration priorities for 2024 include drilling the western and deep extension of the Detour Lake (northeastern Ontario) deposit to assist in the optimization of the open pit operations and to further advance a potential underground mining scenario, growing the underground mineral reserve and mineral resource at the Odyssey mine and continuing large exploration programs at other operating assets and Hope Bay (Nunavut).

The company expects to spend $20.4 million for 137,000 metres of drilling at the Canadian Malartic complex in 2024, including $12.9 million at Odyssey for 102,500 metres of drilling.

Agnico-Eagle shares rose 2.6% or $1.62 to $64.44 on Friday. The shares are trading in a 52-week range of $82.90 and $59.36.

Agnico is a Canadian gold mining company with operations in Canada, Australia, Finland and Mexico.

The company is forecasting payable gold production of approximately 3.35 to 3.55 million ounces this year, and approximately 3.40 to 3.60 million ounces in 2025. Payable gold production is expected to remain stable in 2026 at an expected range of 3.40 to 3.60 million ounces.

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