Goldex – Mining at Low Cost
CIM Montreal 2015
Frederic Langevin (Agnico Eagle Mines Limited)
Agnico Eagle’s Goldex operation is a low grade gold mine located in the Abitibi region of North-western Quebec, approximately 650 km north of Montreal. Upon startup in 2008, mining was focused on the Goldex Extension Zone ("GEZ"), using a novel bulk mining method. However, ore production from the GEZ had to be suspended in October 2011 due to geotechnical concerns with the rock above the mining horizon. During the suspension, work on site focused on monitoring, assessment and remediation. Additionally, exploration continued on several other nearby mineralized zones on the property.
In 2012, the Board of Directors approved the satellite zones M&E for development, using the well-known long-hole mining method with cemented paste backfill. In October 2013, the mine declared commercial production. The mine is currently operating at its design rate of 6,000 tonnes per day, for a yearly production of approximately 95,000 oz of gold.
Due to the very low grade nature of the reserves (approximately 1.6 grammes per tonne on average), mining costs at Goldex are among the lowest in the world for an underground mine of this nature. A general overview of the operation is presented, with particular emphasis on cost-efficiencies.
mining method, Mining, Low costs