Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM) reported that the Meliadine mine achieved commercial production on May 14. Located near Rankin Inlet, Nunavut, Canada, the Meliadine project was acquired in July 2010 and is Agnico Eagle’s largest gold deposit in terms of mineral resources. The company owns 100% of the 111,358-hectare property.

“Congratulations to all of our employees at Meliadine for achieving commercial production ahead of the original schedule and below the initial capital budget,” said Sean Boyd, Agnico Eagle’s CEO.

With Meliadine ramping up production and Amaruq on schedule to achieve commercial production in the third quarter of 2019, the company is on track to achieve its gold production target of 1.75 million ounces (oz) for 2019, Boyd added.

Construction of the Meliadine project began in February 2017. Initial ore processing commenced in early February 2019 using low-grade stockpiles. Pre-commercial payable gold production totaled 47,281 oz, compared to guidance of 60,000 oz, while pre-production gold sales totaled 28,855 oz. Total project construction costs (after crediting pre-commercial gold sales) are below the 2017 guidance of $900 million.

Expected production at Meliadine for 2019 remains unchanged at approximately 230,000 oz of gold (including pre-commercial production) at total cash costs of $612/oz.