Mining company Agnico Eagle Finland today announced an expansion investment at its Kittilä gold mine of approximately 160 million euros. A 1,044 metre deep shaft will be built in the mine. At the same time, the processing plant’s processing capacity will be raised from the current 1.6 million tonnes per annum to 2.0 million tonnes per annum.

The project is expected to start in the spring this year, will be phased in over four years and is expected to result in a 50,000 to 70,000 ounce annual increase in gold production at reduced operating costs beginning in 2021.

”The shaft will make it possible to utilize the deeper parts of the gold deposit in an economically sensible way, and it will improve our energy efficiency as well as decrease our emissions. The efficiency advantage of the shaft combined with the raised production rate will improve the competitiveness of the Kittilä mine,” says Agnico Eagle Finland’s Managing Director Jani Lösönen.

”During the construction phase, the project’s employment effect will be approximately 900 person-years, and it will create a few dozen permanent jobs. Where possible, we will try to take advantage of the Finnish mining, technology, and construction expertise in the different phases of the project,” Lösönen says.

The mine’s proven and probable mineral reserves total 26.9 million tonnes of ore grading 4.64 g/t gold, containing approximately 4.1 milion ounces of gold. According to the current estimates, the mine will continue its operations till 2034.