March 1, 2021
Agnico Eagle Finland Oy’s Kittilä mine reached an important milestone on February 24, 2021, when its production passed the milestone of two million ounces of gold. “Producing two million ounces of gold marks a historic moment for the Kittilä mine and all of our employees. We thank our skilled staff and our partners for their excellent cooperation – this would not have been possible without them,” says Agnico Eagle Finland Oy’s Managing Director Jani Lösönen.
Stimulation of nearly 10,000 person-years of employment
The first steps on the Kittilä mine’s journey came in 1986, when a piece of rock with gold nuggets was found after a road-digging explosion, and the Geological Survey of Finland (GTK) started to investigate the deposit. The first doré bar was poured more than 20 years later, in January 2009.
Today, this facility is the largest gold mine in Europe and has some 1,100 employees, with 500 people directly employed by Agnico Eagle Finland and 600 employed by its contractors and partners. Operations have a distinctly local character since roughly half of Agnico Eagle’s in-house employees hail from Kittilä and about 90 percent are from Lapland. The mine makes more than 90 percent of its purchases within Finland.
The Kittilä mine has a significant impact on the local and regional economy. “The Kittilä gold mine is an important cornerstone of the local economy, alongside the travel sector, and mutual cooperation has been very close,” says Kittilä’s Deputy Mayor Hanna-Maria Grandell.
The Kittilä mine has created many jobs in the region over the course of its operation, corresponding to approximately 10,000 person-years of employment. Producing two million ounces (about 62,200 kg) of gold has generated over 36 million euros in royalties and about 210 million euros in state revenue from corporate income tax and tax-like charges. For 2020 alone, the company’s payments come to approx. 5.6 million euros in royalties and about 12 million euros in corporate income tax.
Close collaboration with the travel sector
The travel sector and the mine industry cooperate closely in Kittilä. Visit Levi’s Managing Director Yrjötapio Kivisaari says, “The mine operations have given Levi a welcome boost year-round. We have organized joint events for local residents, and the mine has visibly supported travel businesses in the area with matters related to, for instance, sustainable development.”
The parent company, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited, received significant acknowledgement of its responsible operation in January, when it achieved a ranking of 73rd on the Corporate Knights list of 2021 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations. It was the best-ranked mining company on the list. In the rigorous selection process, more than 8,000 companies were scrutinized on the basis of their environmental, administrative, social, and financial KPIs. In Kittilä, responsibility is manifested also through significant support to education, sports, and culture.
The expansion of the mine’s mineral-processing plant, which was completed last year, has increased the mine’s production capacity by about 20 percent. The mine’s mineral reserves should allow it to continue production at least until 2034. The company expects its investments in mineral exploration to open new prospects beyond the mid-2030s.
For further information, please contact:
Communications and Community Relations Manager Elsi Malkki
Tel.: +358 40 612 4256