The Supreme Administrative Court of Finland (SAC) issued its ruling on Kittila’s operating permit and has restored the mine’s operating permit to 2 million metric tons per year (mt/y). “We are pleased with the positive ruling by the SAC, which allows Kittila to continue to operate at a rate of 2 million mt/y.” said Ammar Al-Joundi, president and CEO, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd. (AEM), the Canadian company that owns and operates the mine. “This ruling is consistent with our excellent environmental performance at Kittila, where we are well below the environmental emission limits. We now expect approximately 30,000 ounces (oz) of additional production from the Kittila mine in Q4 2023 and we are now expecting to be near the upper end of our total annual production guidance of between 3.24 million oz to 3.44 million oz of gold in 2023.”

In 2020, the Regional State Administrative Agency of Northern Finland granted Agnico Eagle Finland Oy environmental and water permits that would allow Agnico Finland to enlarge the CIL2 tailings storage facility, expand the operations of the Kittila mine to 2 million mt/y, and build a new discharge waterline. The permits were subsequently appealed to the Vaasa Administrative Court in Finland. The appeals were granted, in part, in July 2022 with the result that the permits were returned for reconsideration by the Regional State Administrative Agency of Northern Finland. In August 2022, AEM appealed the decisions of the Vaasa Administrative Court to the SAC and requested that the SAC restore the permits. No further appeals are available.

On October 27, 2023, the SAC confirmed that the environmental permits granted to Agnico Finland in 2020 remain valid and production can continue at a rate of 2 million mt/y in accordance with the permit. AEM operated Kittila at an annualized rate of 2 million mt/y for the first nine months of 2023 and is now expected to maintain that production rate through Q4 2023.