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Agnico Eagle cuts the ribbon on new shaft at Kirkland Lake

No. 4 Shaft increases gold production at Kirkland Lake's legacy Macassa Mine
Mines Minister George Pirie (second from left) attended the official completion event of Agnico Eagle's No.4 Shaft project with company and community leaders (Company photo)

Agnico Eagle Mines celebrated the completion and commissioning of its No. 4 Shaft at the Macassa Mine in Kirkland Lake on Sept. 13.

Construction of the shaft, which started in 2019, was driven down to a depth of 6,395 feet.The 216-foot tall concrete headframe was erected in 11 days.

The $320-million project allows the company to tie into new and future gold reserves in Kirkland Lake while improving operating efficiencies and working conditions.

The ribboncutting was also a commemoration of the Macassa Mine’s 90th anniversary. Regarded as one of the highest grade gold mines in the world, Macassa started production in 1933 and ran up to 1999 when operations were suspended and placed into care and maintenance due to the declining gold prices.

Macassa resumed operations in 2002 with the discovery of the high-grade South Mine Complex. Ongoing exploration drilling has led to more gold discoveries that’s lengthened Macassa’s mine life.

“The completion of the #4 Shaft is an important step in our plan to build a new Macassa Mine for the future,” said Andre Leite, the company’s Ontario vice president, in a news release.

“The new shaft will allow the team to increase production, improve unit costs, de-risk the mine, increase our exploration capacity and most importantly, significantly improve the working conditions for our employees.”

Ontario Mines Minister George Pirie attended the event.

“The Macassa Mine has built a legacy in Northern Ontario and is one of the highest-grade gold mines worldwide. Congratulations to the Agnico Eagle team on commissioning the new shaft production hoist that will secure more than 1,000 jobs across the northeast.”

As part of the celebration, Agnico Eagle also announced a 10-year, $3 million donation to the Canadian Cancer Society to improve the lives of people affected by cancer living in rural and remote communities of Northern Ontario.

Agnico Eagle has gold mining operations in Canada, Australia, Finland and Mexico.