Meadowbank Open-pit Gold Mine is located approximately 300 kilometres west of Hudson Bay and 110 kilometres by road north of Baker Lake in the Kivalliq District of Nunavut, Canada.
Meadowbank was Agnico Eagle’s first Low Arctic mine. The discovery and development of the Amaruq satellite deposit 50 kilometres away has extended the life of the Meadowbank Complex by supplying a new source of ore to the existing Meadowbank mill.
The Meadowbank Complex refers to the mining, processing and infrastructure at the Meadowbank mine site combined with the mining and infrastructure at the nearby Amaruq site. The remote Meadowbank mine camp, with recreational and fitness facilities, can host more than 500 employees at a time. The Amaruq camp can host an additional 350 employees.
The Meadowbank gold mine achieved commercial production in March 2010 and produced its three millionth ounce of gold in 2018. It is anticipated 2019 will be the last year of production at the Meadowbank mine.
The 94,548-hectare Amaruq property is located approximately 50 km northwest of the Meadowbank mine site. Discovered in 2013, Amaruq hosts the Whale Tail gold deposit as well as the V and Mammoth gold zones and several other targets. At December 31, 2018, the Amaruq satellite deposit at Meadowbank was estimated to contain open pit proven and probable mineral reserves of 2.9 million ounces of gold (24.9 million tonnes grading 3.59 g/t), as well as substantial open pit and underground indicated and inferred mineral resources.
The Amaruq mining operation uses the existing infrastructure at the Meadowbank mine (mining equipment, mill, tailings, camp and airstrip). The Company declared commercial production at the Whale Tail pit at Amaruq on September 30, 2019. The life of mine plan for the Whale Tail pit calls for the production of approximately 2.5 million ounces of gold between 2019 and 2025.
Permitting for the Amaruq Phase 2 expansion, including an open pit at the V Zone and underground operations, is expected to be completed in late 2020. If this expansion is approved, it would increase production rates and further extend the mine life for the Meadowbank Complex.
The Meadowbank and Amaruq properties are underlain by Archean-age volcanic and sedimentary rocks of the Woodburn Lake Group. This is within the Rae domain of the Western Churchill geological province of the Canadian Shield. These rocks were possibly deposited in a continental rift setting and consist of mafic to ultramafic volcanic rocks interlayered with carbon-rich sedimentary rocks. The rock sequence has since been intruded by granitoid rocks and lamprophyres, and has been affected by multiple phases of ductile deformation along with metamorphism to greenschist facies and locally to the upper greenschist facies.
100% – Agnico Eagle.
Conventional drilling, Blasting, and Truck-and-Shovel methods.
The 11,000-tonne/day Meadowbank gold processing plant uses conventional technology adjusted to the Arctic climate. After two stages of crushing and grinding, any “free gold” is then removed by a gravity circuit. The remainder is leached using cyanide, with the gold captured using carbon-in-pulp technology and electrowinning cells. Gold-plated cathodes and gravity concentrate are smelted in an induction furnace and poured as doré bars. The plant includes both a cyanide recycling thickener and a sulphur-dioxide-air cyanide destruction circuit to ensure that no cyanide escapes to the environment. Tailings from the Meadowbank mine have been placed in the permanent tailings facility. All water from the tailings pond is pumped back to the plant for reuse, making this a zero-discharge system. The processing of ore from the Portage pit and stockpiles at Meadowbank is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2019.
Mine Life (incl. Amaruq):
193 Au kozt in 2019
Total Cash Costs:
$1,152/ozt in 2019