Agnico-Eagle Approves Development of La India Mine in Mexico; Commercial Production Expected in 2014
Stock Symbol: AEM (NYSE, TSX)
(All amounts expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted)
TORONTO, Sept. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ – Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM)(TSX: AEM) (“Agnico-Eagle” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce that its Board
of Directors has approved the development and construction of the La
India mine in Sonora, Mexico.
Agnico-Eagle acquired La India, located approximately 70 kilometres from
Agnico-Eagle’s Pinos Altos mine, in November 2011 as part of the
transaction with Grayd Resource Corporation. In addition to La India,
the large 54,981 hectare property position contains an early-stage
exploration project named Tarachi, which is 10 kilometres to the north.
The La India mine will be developed as an open pit, heap leach operation
with commercial production expected in the second half of 2014.
Construction costs for the project are expected to total approximately
$158 million, which will be funded from the Company’s operating cash
flows. Sustaining capital costs are forecast to total approximately
$25 million over the eight year life of the mine. New capital of
approximately $40 million is expected to be added to the Company’s
total in 2012.
The feasibility study estimates that the La India project will generate
an internal rate of return of approximately 31% assuming a gold price
of $1,379 per ounce. Metallurgical recoveries are estimated to average
approximately 80%, resulting in average gold production of 90,000
ounces per year. The waste to ore stripping ratio in the open pit mine
is estimated at approximately 1:1. Life of mine total cash costs at La
India are expected to average $500 per ounce.
“The acquisition and development of the La India project is consistent
with Agnico-Eagle’s strategy of delivering measured, low-risk, quality
gold production growth in areas supportive of mining” said Sean Boyd,
President and CEO. “We are pleased to be able to bring this
high-return project on board in a relatively short period of time.
This project should add meaningful operating cash flows and provide us
with opportunities to create additional value as we explore our large
land package surrounding the deposits” added Mr. Boyd.
The initial probable reserves at La India total approximately 44.6
million tonnes grading 0.65 grams per tonne (“g/t”) of gold, containing
930,000 ounces. These amounts are based on drilling completed before
the end of May, 2012. Infill and step-out exploration drilling will
continue at La India in an effort to further delineate and expand the
mineral resources and reserves.
Site preparation work was initiated in the third quarter of 2012.
Construction of the project will begin immediately.
La India Estimated Project Parameters
__________________________________________________________________ |Location |Mulatos Gold Belt in Sonora, Mexico | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Probable reserves |44.6 million tonnes grading 0.65 g/t | | |gold (930,000 oz) | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Total capital costs |$183 million (includes construction | | |capital expenditures of $158 million)| |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Mine operations |16,000 tonnes per day, open pit, heap| | |leach | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Waste to ore stripping ratio|1 : 1 | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Metallurgical recovery |Approximately 80% | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Annual gold production |Approximately 90,000 ounces per year | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Minesite cost per tonne |Approximately $9.00 | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Total cash costs per ounce |Approximately $500 | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Mine life |Approximately eight years | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Commercial gold production |Second half of 2014 | |____________________________|_____________________________________| |Internal rate of return |Approximately 31%* | |____________________________|_____________________________________|
* assumes $1379/oz gold, $26.49/oz silver, 13.00 MXP per USD
La India Mineral Reserves and Resources
Successful exploration results in 2012 have resulted in significant
resource growth at La India. In addition to the gold reserves, gold
ounces contained in indicated resources are 436,000 ounces (27,243,000
tonnes grading 0.50 g/t gold), while gold contained in inferred
resources has more than doubled to 1,144,300 ounces (103,409,000 tonnes
grading 0.34 g/t gold).
_________________________________________________________________ | |December 31, 2011 |June 30, 2012 | |__________________________|____________________|_________________| | | |Grade | |Grade| | | |(g/t | |(g/t | |Category |Tonnes |gold) |Tonnes |gold)| |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| |Reserves (diluted) | | | | | |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| | Probable reserves | -| -| 44,639,000| 0.65| |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| |Total proven & probable | -| -| 44,639,000| 0.65| |reserves | | | | | |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| |Resources (undiluted) | | | | | |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| | Measured resources | 3,730,000| 1.06| | | |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| | Indicated resources |23,040,000| 0.85| 27,243,000| 0.50| |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| |Total measured & indicated|26,770,000| 0.88| 27,243,000| 0.50| |resources | | | | | |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| | | | | | | |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____| |Inferred Resources |19,730,000| 0.80|103,409,000| 0.34| |__________________________|__________|_________|___________|_____|
The cut-off grade was 0.4 g/t gold in the December 31, 2011 estimates. The cut-off grade was 0.2 g/t gold in the June 30, 2012 estimates. All of the probable reserves are in oxide material. The assumptions used for the June 30, 2012 La India mineral reserves estimate were based on three-year trailing averages for the period ending June 30, 2012 of $1,379 per ounce gold, $26.49 per ounce silver and MXP/US$ exchange rate of 13.00. The mineral reserves presented in this table are separate from and not a portion of the mineral resources.
Update on Exploration at La India and Tarachi Deposits
The Company continues to perform exploration drilling aimed at better
defining the La India and Tarachi deposits. Through the end of July
2012, more than $8 million has been spent on exploration at the two
La India – Exploration extends gold resources. Infill drilling confirms
model grades and widths
The Company’s recent infill drilling at La India continues to confirm
the grades and widths previously reported. To the end of July 2012,
18,300 metres of conversion and infill drilling and 2,000 metres of
exploration drilling have been completed. Selected results of the
program from June and July 2012 are presented in the following tables,
all from the North Zone at shallow depths. Most of the infill drilling
conducted by the Company to date has focused on the North Zone, which
contains approximately half of the probable reserves.
On the northern end of the North Zone, infill drilling has returned
results which are generally consistent with the current model for the
deposit, but they suggesting possible upside in terms of orebody
thickness. For example, Hole IN-12-284 intersected 26.3 metres
(estimated true width) grading 1.92 g/t gold at 12 metres depth. Hole
INR-12-723 intersected 28.0 metres, estimated true width, grading 1.79
g/t gold at 18 metres depth.
_____________________________________________________________________ | | | | |Depth |Core |Estimated|Gold | |Drill Hole|Zone |From |To |below |length |true |grade | | | |(metres)|(metres)|surface |(metres)|width |(g/t) | | | | | |(metres)| |(metres) |(cut)*| |__________|_____|________|________|________|________|_________|______| |IN-12-284 |North|2.0 |30.0 |12 |28.0 |26.3 |1.92 | | |Zone | | | | | | | |__________|_____|________|________|________|________|_________|______| |IN-12-306 |North|4.0 |17.0 |10 |13.0 |10.0 |0.80 | | |Zone | | | | | | | |__________|_____|________|________|________|________|_________|______| |INR-12-723|North|4.6 |33.5 |18 |28.9 |28.8 |1.79 | | |Zone | | | | | | | |__________|_____|________|________|________|________|_________|______| |INR-12-736|North|0.0 |12.2 |6 |12.2 |11.9 |0.65 | | |Zone | | | | | | | |__________|_____|________|________|________|________|_________|______|
* Holes at the La India deposit use a capping level ranging from 2 to 15 g/t gold.
Other results in the North Zone, such as hole IN-12-306 that intersected
10.0 metres, estimated true width, grading 0.80 g/t gold at 10 metres
depth, have extended the resource by approximately 250 metres to the
Tarachi – Deeper Drill Intercepts Extending Known Gold Resources
Laterally and at Depth
Exploration is also underway on the Tarachi gold-bearing system, 10
kilometres north of the La India deposit. The Tarachi deposit
continues to grow as new intersections connect the known gold zones of
the deposit. It remains open along strike and at depth.
To the end of July 2012, 14,600 metres of drilling at Tarachi has been
completed, with select recent results presented below.
_______________________________________________________________ |Drill |From |To |Depth |Core |Gold |Gold | |Hole |(metres)|(metres)|below |length |grade |grade | | | | |surface |(metres)**|(g/t) |(g/t) | | | | |(metres)| |(uncut)|(cut)*| |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TA-12-021 |167.0 |184.0 |159 |17.0 |0.60 |0.60 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| | and |207.0 |235.0 |200 |28.0 |0.52 |0.52 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| | and |247.0 |260.0 |230 |13.0 |0.50 |0.50 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TA-12-024 |130.0 |135.0 |115 |5.0 |1.07 |1.07 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TA-12-025 |92.0 |112.0 |96 |20.0 |0.66 |0.66 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TA-12-026 |91.0 |132.0 |108 |41.0 |0.47 |0.47 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TA-12-028 |84.0 |98.0 |88 |14.0 |0.98 |0.98 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| | and |108.0 |149.0 |124 |41.0 |0.48 |0.48 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TAR-12-016|138.8 |173.8 |147 |35.0 |0.58 |0.58 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TAR-12-020|222.6 |230.3 |160 |7.7 |6.82 |1.84 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______| |TAR-12-022|146.3 |158.5 |108 |12.2 |1.15 |1.15 | |__________|________|________|________|__________|_______|______|
* Holes at Tarachi Project deposit use a capping level of 5.0 g/t gold. Results preliminary pending QAQC verification.
On the north side of the deposit, hole TAR-12-020 intersected 7.7 metres
(core length) grading 1.84 g/t gold (cut) at 160 metres below surface.
Hole TA-12-024 intersected 5.0 metres grading 1.07 g/t gold at 115
metres depth, and hole TA-12-028 intersected 14.0 metres grading 0.98
g/t gold at 88 metres depth.
On the south side of the deposit, hole TAR-12-022 intersected 12.2
metres grading 1.15 g/t gold at 108 metres below surface.
The exploration results will be used to update the reserves and
resources statements for La India and Tarachi as of year-end 2012.
These statements are expected to be published in mid-February 2013.
Agnico-Eagle is a long established, Canadian headquartered, gold
producer with operations located in Canada, Finland and Mexico, and
exploration and development activities in Canada, Finland, Mexico and
the United States. The Company has full exposure to higher gold prices
consistent with its policy of no forward gold sales and maintains a
corporate strategy based on increasing shareholders exposure to gold,
on a per share basis. It has declared a cash dividend for 30
Appendix: Selected Drill Results, La India Property
______________________________________________________________________ |Property|Target |Drill |East* |North* |Elevation|Azimuth|Dip | | | |hole | | | | |(degrees)| |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|La |IN-12-284 |706250|3179160|1743 |90 |-50 | | |India | | | | | | | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|La |IN-12-306 |706635|3177995|1647 |90 |-70 | | |India | | | | | | | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|La |INR-12-723|705963|3179280|1610 |90 |-70 | | |India | | | | | | | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|La |INR-12-736|706390|3178920|1702 |90 |-74 | | |India | | | | | | | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TA-12-021 |699943|3185727|1359 |170 |-65 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TA-12-024 |700391|3185708|1472 |190 |-60 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TA-12-025 |700224|3185339|1428 |45 |-70 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TA-12-026 |700199|3185573|1438 |225 |-75 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TA-12-028 |699947|3185601|1375 |45 |-75 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TAR-12-016|699825|3185124|1321 |45 |-70 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TAR-12-020|699239|3186073|1225 |75 |-45 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________| |La India|Tarachi|TAR-12-022|700135|3185161|1362 |45 |-45 | |________|_______|__________|______|_______|_________|_______|_________|
* Drill hole collars on UTM Coordinate System UTM NAD27
The information in this news release has been prepared as at September
4, 2012. Certain statements contained in this press 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 document, words such as “approximately”, “anticipate”,
“expect”, “estimate,” “forecast,” “planned”, “will”, “likely”,
“schedule” and similar expressions are intended to identify
Such statements include without limitation: the Company’s
forward-looking production guidance, including estimated ore grades,
project timelines, drilling results, orebody configurations, metal
production, life of mine, commencement of production estimates, the
estimated timing of scoping and other studies, recovery rates, mill
throughput, and projected exploration and capital expenditures,
including costs and other estimates upon which such projections are
based; the Company’s goal to increase its mineral reserves and
resources; and other statements and information regarding anticipated
trends with respect to the Company’s operations, exploration and the
funding thereof. Such statements reflect the Company’s views as at the
date of this press release and are subject to certain risks,
uncertainties and assumptions. 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 factors and
assumptions of Agnico-Eagle contained in this news release, which may
prove to be incorrect, include, but are not limited to, the assumptions
set forth herein and in management’s discussion and analysis and the
Company’s Annual Report on Form 20-F for the year ended December 31,
2011 (“Form 20-F”) as well as: that there are no significant
disruptions affecting operations, whether due to labour disruptions,
supply disruptions, damage to equipment, natural occurrences, equipment
failures, accidents, political changes, title issues or otherwise; that
permitting, production and expansion at each of Agnico-Eagle’s mines
and growth projects proceeds on a basis consistent with current
expectations, and that Agnico-Eagle does not change its plans relating
to such projects; that the exchange rate between the Canadian dollar,
European Union euro, Mexican peso and the United States dollar will be
approximately consistent with current levels or as set out in this news
release; that prices for gold, silver, zinc, copper and lead will be
consistent with Agnico-Eagle’s expectations; that prices for key mining
and construction supplies, including labour costs, remain consistent
with Agnico-Eagle’s current 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 metal recovery
estimates; uncertainty of future production, capital expenditures, and
other costs; currency fluctuations; financing of additional capital
requirements; cost of exploration and development programs; mining
risks; risks associated with foreign operations; governmental and
environmental regulation; the volatility of the Company’s stock price;
and risks associated with the Company’s byproduct metal derivative
strategies. For a more detailed discussion of such risks and other
factors, see the Form 20-F, as well as the Company’s other filings with
the Canadian Securities Administrators and the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission (the “SEC”). The Company does not intend, and does
not assume any obligation, to update these forward-looking statements
and information, except as required by law. Accordingly, readers are
advised not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.
Certain of the foregoing statements, primarily related to projects, are
based on preliminary views of the Company with respect to, among other
things, grade, tonnage, processing, recoveries, mining methods, capital
costs, total cash costs, minesite costs, and location of surface
infrastructure. Actual results and final decisions may be materially
different from those currently anticipated.
Notes to Investors Regarding the Use of Resources
Cautionary Note to Investors Concerning Estimates of Measured and
This news release uses the terms “measured resources” and “indicated
resources”. We advise investors 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 reserves.
Cautionary Note to Investors Concerning Estimates of Inferred Resources
This press release also uses the term “inferred resources”. We advise
investors that while this term is recognized and required by Canadian
regulations, the SEC does not recognize it. “Inferred 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 part or all of an inferred
resource exists, or is economically or legally mineable.
Scientific and Technical Data
Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited is reporting mineral resource and reserve
estimates in accordance with the CIM guidelines for the estimation,
classification and reporting of resources and reserves.
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 uses certain terms in this
press release, such as “measured”, “indicated”, and “inferred”, and
“resources” that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered
companies from including in their filings with the SEC. U.S. investors
are urged to consider closely the disclosure in our Form 20-F, which
may be obtained from us, or from the SEC’s website at: http://sec.gov/edgar.shtml. A “final” or “bankable” feasibility study is required to meet the
requirements to designate reserves under Industry Guide 7. This
feasibility study was recently completed.
Estimates for the La India project were calculated using historic
three-year average metals prices and foreign exchange rates in
accordance with the SEC Industry Guide 7. Industry Guide 7 requires
the use of prices that reflect current economic conditions at the time
of reserve determination, which the Staff of the SEC has interpreted to
mean historic three-year average prices. The assumptions used for the
June 30, 2012 La India mineral resources estimates were based on
three-year average prices for the period ending May 1, 2012 of $1,342
per ounce gold, $25.00 per ounce silver, and MXP/US$ exchange rate of
The Canadian Securities Administrators’ National Instrument 43-101 (“NI
43-101″) requires mining companies to disclose reserves and resources
using the subcategories of “proven” reserves, “probable” reserves,
“measured” resources, “indicated” resources and “inferred” resources.
Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have
demonstrated economic viability. A NI43-101 Technical Report will be
completed shortly that will describe the Mineral Reserves and Mineral
Resources of the La India Project.
A mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of a measured or
indicated mineral resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary
feasibility study. This study must include adequate information on
mining, processing, metallurgical, economic and other relevant factors
that demonstrate, at the time of reporting, that economic extraction
can be justified. A mineral reserve includes diluting materials and
allows for losses that may occur when the material is mined. A proven
mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of a measured mineral
resource demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study. A
probable mineral reserve is the economically mineable part of an
indicated and, in some circumstances, a measured mineral resource
demonstrated by at least a preliminary feasibility study.
A mineral resource is a concentration or occurrence of natural, solid,
inorganic material, or natural, solid fossilized organic material
including base and precious metals in or on the Earth’s crust in such
form and quantity and of such a grade or quality that it has reasonable
prospects for economic extraction. The location, quantity, grade,
geological characteristics and continuity of a mineral resource are
known, estimated or interpreted from specific geological evidence and
knowledge. A measured mineral resource is that part of a mineral
resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and
physical characteristics are so well established that they can be
estimated with confidence sufficient to allow the appropriate
application of technical and economic parameters, to support production
planning and evaluation of the economic viability of the deposit. The
estimate is based on detailed and reliable exploration, sampling and
testing information gathered through appropriate techniques from
locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes
that are spaced closely enough to confirm both geological and grade
continuity. An indicated mineral resource is that part of a mineral
resource for which quantity, grade or quality, densities, shape and
physical characteristics can be estimated with a level of confidence
sufficient to allow the appropriate application of technical and
economic parameters, to support mine planning and evaluation of the
economic viability of the deposit. The estimate is based on detailed
and reliable exploration and testing information gathered through
appropriate techniques from locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits,
workings and drill holes that are spaced closely enough for geological
and grade continuity to be reasonably assumed. An inferred mineral
resource is that part of a mineral resource for which quantity and
grade or quality can be estimated on the basis of geological evidence
and limited sampling and reasonably assumed, but not verified,
geological and grade continuity. The estimate is based on limited
information and sampling gathered through appropriate techniques from
locations such as outcrops, trenches, pits, workings and drill holes.
Mineral resources which are not mineral reserves do not have
demonstrated economic viability.
Investors are cautioned not to assume that part or all of an inferred
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 realistically assumed mining,
processing, metallurgical, economic, marketing, legal, environmental,
social and governmental considerations 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.
The mineral reserves presented in this disclosure are separate from and
not a portion of the mineral resources.
___________________________________________________________________ |Property/ |Qualified Person |Qualified Person |Date of most | |Project |responsible for |responsible for |recent Technical| |name and |the current |Exploration and |Report (NI | |location |Mineral Resource |relationship to |43-101) filed on| | |and Reserve |Agnico-Eagle |SEDAR | | |Estimate | | | | |and relationship | | | | |to Agnico-Eagle | | | |______________|_________________|_________________|________________| |La India, |La India project:|La India project:|December 6, 2010| |Sonora, Mexico|Tim Haldane, |Daniel Doucet, | | | |P.Eng., SVP Latin|Ing., Corporate | | | |America; Daniel |Director of | | | |Doucet, Ing., |Reserve | | | |Corporate |Development. | | | |Director of |Tarachi project: | | | |Reserve |Manuel Padilla, | | | |Development |Exploration | | | | |Technical Manager| | | | |for Mexico | | |______________|_________________|_________________|________________|
The effective date for the La India mineral resource and reserve
estimates in this press release is June 30, 2012. Additional
information about each of the mineral projects that is required by
NI43-101, sections 3.2 and 3.3 and paragraphs 3.4 (a), (c) and (d) can
be found in the Technical Reports referred to above, which may be found
at www.sedar.com. Other important operating information can be found in the Company’s
Form 20-F and its news release dated February 15, 2012.
The contents of this press release have been prepared under the
supervision of, and reviewed by, Alain Blackburn P.Eng., Senior
Vice-President Exploration and a “Qualified Person” for the purposes of
SOURCE Agnico-Eagle Mines Limited