TORONTO, July 26, 2023
Stock Symbol: AEM (NYSE and TSX)
(All amounts expressed in U.S. dollars unless otherwise noted)
TORONTO, July 26, 2023 /PRNewswire/ - Agnico Eagle Mines Limited (NYSE: AEM) (TSX: AEM) ("Agnico Eagle" or the "Company") today reported financial and operating results for the second quarter of 2023.
"Agnico Eagle delivered another strong operational quarter, with record quarterly gold production and better than expected costs driving solid financial results. With this excellent start to the year, we are tracking very well to meet our annual production and cost guidance. I would also like to commend our team for one of the best quarterly safety performances in the Company's history," said Ammar Al-Joundi, Agnico Eagle's President and Chief Executive Officer. "In June we released an update on the Odyssey project at Canadian Malartic, which highlighted an improved production profile, a mine life extension to 2042 and a significant geological upside. We continue to advance the various studies of our key pipeline projects in the Abitibi Gold Belt, with the objective of leveraging our existing infrastructure and generating value for our shareholders. We expect to report the results of these ongoing studies through the first half of 2024. Finally, in the second quarter, we had strong exploration results from Detour, Meliadine, Kittila and at Hope Bay, with the intersection of higher grade mineralization at the Madrid deposit," added Mr. Al-Joundi.
Second quarter 2023 highlights
- Record quarterly gold production and solid cost performance – Record quarterly gold production reflects 100% ownership of Canadian Malartic for the full quarter, combined with a strong operational performance at all producing sites. Payable gold production1 in the second quarter of 2023 was 873,204 ounces at production costs per ounce of $851, total cash costs per ounce2 of $840 and all-in sustaining costs ("AISC") per ounce3 of $1,150
- Operational performance drives strong quarterly financial results – The Company reported quarterly net income of $0.66 per share in the second quarter of 2023, with adjusted net income4 of $0.65 per share. Operating cash flow was $1.46 per share
- Strong operating and safety performance at all mine sites – Gold production and costs in the second quarter of 2023 were better than anticipated, reflecting strong operating performance across the Company's mines, despite the challenges related to wildfires in northern Ontario and Quebec and the caribou migration in Nunavut. Lower than expected costs reflect a strong operating performance, favourable foreign exchange rates and the easing of certain inflationary pressures
- Important milestones achieved across the portfolio – At the Canadian Malartic complex, the team celebrated production of its seventh million ounce in June. In addition, Detour Lake, Goldex and Macassa each achieved record quarterly mill throughput rates, while Meliadine recorded its best ever monthly mill throughput in May 2023
- Gold production, cost and capital expenditure guidance reiterated for 2023 – Expected payable gold production in 2023 remains unchanged at approximately 3.24 to 3.44 million ounces with total cash costs per ounce expected to be between $840 and $890 and AISC per ounce expected to be between $1,140 and $1,190. Total capital expenditures (excluding capitalized exploration) for 2023 are still estimated to be approximately $1.42 billion. The Company's 2023 production guidance assumes Kittila operates at an annual rate of 1.6 million tonnes per annum ("Mtpa"). A decision by the Supreme Court of Finland (the "SAC") to either maintain the 1.6 Mtpa permit or revert to the 2.0 Mtpa permit is expected in the third quarter of 2023
- Solid cash flow generation strengthens the Company's balance sheet and liquidity position – During the second quarter of 2023, the Company repaid $900 million of the amounts drawn on its unsecured revolving bank credit facility. The amount repaid on the unsecured revolving bank credit facility was repaid using $300 million in cash on hand and $600 million drawn on an unsecured term loan facility (the "Term Loan Facility") which the Company entered into in the quarter. Additionally on June 30, 2023, the Company repaid the $100 million 4.54% Series A senior notes at maturity. As at June 30, 2023, the Company's long term debt was $1,942.0 million and its net debt5 was $1,509.5 million.
- Update on key value drivers and pipeline projects
- Odyssey mine at the Canadian Malartic complex – In June 2023, the Company released the results of a new internal study reflecting significant project advancements, an improved valuation and opportunities to further enhance value (see the news release dated June 20, 2023). Shaft sinking activities ramped up through the quarter, with approximately 60 metres sunk as at June 30, 2023. Production via the ramp at the Odyssey South deposit increased through the quarter and remains on schedule to reach a planned rate of 3,500 tonnes per day ("tpd") in 2024. Drilling activities focused on infilling the internal zones at the Odyssey South deposit and mineral resource expansion of the East Gouldie deposit to the east and west
- Detour Lake – In the second quarter of 2023, the mill set a record for quarterly throughput, with an improved mill availability of 92.8%. The continued focus on mill process optimization and mill availability is tracking well to reach and potentially exceed, throughput of 28.0 Mtpa. The Company is advancing the underground mining scenario study based on a revised mineral resource model and expects to report the results of this study in the first half of 2024
- Optimization of assets and infrastructure in the Abitibi Gold Belt – The Company continued to advance several internal evaluations to assess potential production opportunities at the Macassa Near Surface and the Amalgamated Kirkland ("AK") deposits, and at the Upper Beaver and Wasamac projects. These evaluations include an assessment of ore transportation via rail or truck to the Company's existing processing facilities in the region, with a goal of increasing future gold production at lower capital costs and with a reduced environmental footprint. The results of these evaluations are expected to be reported in the first half of 2024
- Positive exploration results at Detour, Meliadine, Kittila and Hope Bay
- Based on exploration success in the first half of 2023, a supplemental exploration budget of $32 million has been approved – The Company's exploration program returned positive results in the first half of 2023 at several key operating sites and projects, showing excellent potential to identify additional mineral resources and replace mineral reserves. These results support the focused addition of supplemental budgets. An update on selected exploration programs and budgets is set out in the sections below
- Detour – Drilling continues to investigate the deposit below the West Pit mineral reserve and the western plunge extension of the mineralization to confirm the mineralized zones potentially amenable to underground mining. Drill results below the West pit reserve continue to demonstrate potential for a higher grade envelope with a recent intercept yielding 12.9 grams per tonne ("g/t") gold over 12.9 metres at 400 metres depth, while two kilometres west of the open pit mineral reserves mineralization remains open with a recent intercept returning 2.8 g/t gold over 14.4 metres at 1,061 metres depth
- Meliadine – Drilling continues to investigate the vertical extensions of the mineralized zones in the central part of the Tiriganiaq, Wesmeg and Wesmeg North deposits. At Wesmeg North, a recent intercept yielded 6.3 g/t gold over 7.4 metres at 558 metres depth. Approximately 1.5 kilometres southeast of Tiriganiaq at the F-Zone deposit, a recent intercept yielded 6.4 g/t gold over 16.0 metres at 167 metres depth in the upper portion of the deposit
- Kittila – Drilling has extended the Rimpi Main Zone to the north, outside of the current mineral resources, with a recent intercept yielding 7.2 g/t gold over 4.5 metres at 1,102 metres depth. In the Roura area close to the shaft bottom, a recent intercept in the Main Zone yielded 7.7 g/t gold over 7.3 metres at 1,152 metres depth. At shallow depth in the Rimpi area, the Parallel / Sisar Zone was identified in an area that has received limited drilling to date, yielding 3.1 g/t gold over 4.5 metres at 142 metres depth and opening a new near-surface target area for future exploration
- Hope Bay project – A total of nine exploration drill rigs were operating at the Doris and Madrid deposits and regionally during the second quarter. At Doris, drilling in the BCO Zone continued to return good grades and thicknesses to further confirm the potential to expand the zone along strike. At Madrid, drilling focused on a two-kilometre long, previously untested gap between the Suluk and Patch 7 zones, with new highlight intercepts of 10.0 g/t gold over 14.0 metres at 677 metres depth and 13.7 g/t gold over 4.6 metres at 697 metres depth. This drilling confirms the potential of Madrid/Suluk/Patch 7 as it extends the high-grade Patch 7 Zone by 500 metres vertically and by 900 metres laterally at depth
- A quarterly dividend of $0.40 per share has been declared
1 Payable production of a mineral means the quantity of a mineral produced during a period contained in products that have been or will be sold by the Company whether such products are shipped during the period or held as inventory at the end of the period.
2 Total cash costs per ounce is a non-GAAP ratio that is not a standardized financial measure under IFRS and, unless otherwise specified, is reported on a by-product basis in this news release. For the detailed calculation of production costs per ounce, the reconciliation of total cash costs to production costs and information about total cash costs per once on a co-product basis, see "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures" below. See also "Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance".
3 AISC per ounce is a non-GAAP ratio that is not a standardized financial measure under the IFRS and, unless otherwise specified, is reported on a by-product basis in this news release. For a reconciliation to production costs and for all-in sustaining costs on a co-product basis, see "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures" below. See also "Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance".
4 Adjusted net income and adjusted net income per share are non-GAAP measures that are not standardized financial measures under IFRS. For a reconciliation to net income and net income per share see "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures" below. See also "Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance".
5 Net debt is a non-GAAP measure that is not a standardized measure under IFRS. For a reconciliation to long-term debt, see "Reconciliation of non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures" below. See also "Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance".
Second Quarter 2023 Results Conference Call and Webcast Tomorrow
Agnico Eagle's senior management will host a conference call on Thursday, July 27, 2023 at 11:00 AM (E.D.T.) to discuss the Company's second quarter 2023 financial and operating results.
A live audio webcast of the conference call will be available on the Company's website www.agnicoeagle.com.
For those preferring to listen by telephone, please dial 1-416-764-8659 or toll-free 1-888-664-6392. To ensure your participation, please call approximately five minutes prior to the scheduled start of the call.
Via URL Entry:
To join the conference call without operator assistance, you may register and enter your phone number at https://bit.ly/3CqLElb to receive an instant automated call back.
Please dial 1-416-764-8677 or toll-free 1-888-390-0541, access code 008251#. The conference call replay will expire on August 27, 2023.
The webcast, along with presentation slides, will be archived for 180 days on the Company's website.
Second Quarter 2023 Financial and Production Results
In the second quarter of 2023, net income was $326.8 million ($0.66 per share). This result includes the following items (net of tax): derivative gains on financial instruments of $20.1 million ($0.04 per share), a non-cash fair value adjustment on inventory sold during the quarter related to the acquisition of the remaining 50% of Canadian Malartic included in production costs of $13.7 million ($0.03 per share), foreign currency translation gains on deferred tax liabilities of $9.6 million ($0.02 per share), non-cash foreign currency translation losses of $4.0 million ($0.01 per share) and various other adjustment losses of $7.5 million ($0.01 per share).
Excluding the above items results in adjusted net income of $322.4 million or $0.65 per share for the second quarter of 2023. For the second quarter of 2022, the Company reported net income of $290.4 million ($0.64 per share).
Included in the second quarter of 2023 net income, and not adjusted above, is a non-cash stock option expense of $2.5 million ($0.01 per share).
In the first six months of 2023, the Company reported net income of $2,143.7 million ($4.45 per share) compared to the first six months of 2022, when net income was $409.5 million ($0.97 per share).
The increase in net income in the second quarter of 2023 compared to the prior-year period is due to a gain on derivative financial instruments, higher mine operating margins6 from higher sales volumes resulting from the acquisition of the remaining 50% of Canadian Malartic and lower income and mining tax expenses, partially offset by higher amortization.
The increase in net income in the first six months of 2023 is primarily due to a remeasurement gain resulting from the application of purchase accounting relating to a business combination attained in stages, which requires the remeasurement of the Company's previously held 50% interest in the Canadian Malartic complex to fair value. The fair value of the Company's previously held 50% interest and the resulting gain on remeasurement, along with the fair values allocated to assets acquired and liabilities assumed are preliminary, and are subject to adjustment based on further analysis and evaluation over the course of the measurement period which may not exceed 12 months from the acquisition date.
In the second quarter of 2023, cash provided by operating activities was $722.0 million ($693.0 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital), compared to the second quarter of 2022 when cash provided by operating activities was $633.3 million ($706.0 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital). Cash provided by operating activities (before changes in non-cash components of working capital) was slightly lower in the second quarter of 2023 when compared to the prior-year period as higher revenues from higher sales volumes and metals prices was more than offset by higher production costs and higher financing costs.
In the first six months of 2023, cash provided by operating activities was $1,371.6 million ($1,301.8 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital), compared to the first six months of 2022 when cash provided by operating activities was $1,140.7 million ($1,072.0 million before changes in non-cash components of working capital). Cash provided by operating activities (before changes in non-cash components of working capital) increased when compared to the prior-year period primarily due to higher sales volumes from a full six months contribution in 2023 from the Detour Lake, Macassa and Fosterville mines as opposed to 149 days in the first six months of 2022 following the closing of the merger (the "Merger") with Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd. and higher sales volumes from the acquisition of the remaining 50% of the Canadian Malartic complex.
6 Operating margin is a non-GAAP measure that is not a standardized measure under IFRS. For a reconciliation to net income see "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Performance Measures" below. See also "Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance".
In the second quarter of 2023, the Company's payable gold production was a record 873,204 ounces. This compares to quarterly payable gold production of 858,170 ounces in the prior-year period as the additional production from the acquisition of the remaining 50% of the Canadian Malartic complex was partially offset by lower production at the Detour Lake and LaRonde mines.
In the first six months of 2023, the Company's payable gold production was 1,686,017 ounces compared to the first six months of 2022 when payable gold production was 1,518,774 ounces. The increase in payable gold production is a result of additional days of production in 2023 at the Detour Lake, Macassa and Fosterville mines as described above and the additional production from the acquisition of the remaining 50% of the Canadian Malartic complex, partially offset by lower production at the Detour Lake and LaRonde mines.
In the second quarter of 2023, production costs per ounce were $851, compared to $766 in the prior-year period and total cash costs per ounce were $840, compared to $726 in the prior-year period. Production costs per ounce increased when compared to the prior-year period primarily due to higher minesite costs per tonne related to inflation. A detailed description of the minesite costs per tonne at each mine is set out below. Total cash costs per ounce increased when compared to the prior-year period primarily due to higher minesite costs per tonne related to inflation, higher royalties resulting from the acquisition of the remaining 50% of the Canadian Malartic complex and a lower fair value adjustment impacting inventory in the second quarter of 2023.
In the first six months of 2023, production costs per ounce were $828, compared to $869 in the prior-year period and total cash costs per ounce were $836, compared to $763 in the prior-year period. Production costs per ounce decreased when compared to the prior-year period primarily due to the increase in payable gold production during the period. Total cash costs per ounce increased when compared to the prior-year period primarily due to the lower fair value adjustment impacting inventory in the current year.
In the second quarter of 2023, AISC per ounce were $1,150, compared to $1,026 in the prior-year period. AISC per ounce increased in the second quarter of 2023 when compared to the prior-year period primarily due to the same reasons that caused higher total cash costs per ounce.
In the first six months of 2023, AISC per ounce were $1,138, compared to $1,051 in the prior-year period. AISC per ounce increased when compared to the prior-year period primarily due to the same reasons that caused higher total cash costs and higher sustaining capital expenditures per ounce.
Solid Cash Flow Generation Continues to Support Investment Grade Balance Sheet; Financial Flexibility Strengthened with Increased Liquidity
With the strong cash-flow generation during the second quarter, the Company used cash on hand to repay $300 million of the $1.0 billion drawn from its unsecured revolving bank credit facility used to fund the cash consideration paid in connection with the acquisition of Yamana's Canadian assets on March 31, 2023 (the "Yamana Transaction"). On April 20, 2023, the Company entered into a credit agreement with a group of financial institutions that provides the $600 million Term Loan Facility. The Company drew down in full on the Term Loan Facility on April 28, 2023 and used the proceeds to partially repay the amounts drawn on the unsecured revolving bank credit facility. The Term Loan Facility matures and all indebtedness thereunder is due and payable on April 21, 2025. The Term Loan Facility is available as a single advance in US dollars through SOFR and base rate advances, priced at the applicable rate plus a margin that ranges from 0.00% to 2.00% depending on the Company's credit rating. The Term Loan Facility may be prepaid without penalty.
As of June 30, 2023, the outstanding balance on the Company's unsecured revolving bank credit facility was $100 million, and available liquidity under this facility was approximately $1.1 billion, not including the uncommitted $600 million accordion feature. Additionally on June 30, 2023, the Company repaid out of available cash the $100 million 4.54% Series A senior notes at maturity, further reducing the Company's indebtedness.
Cash and cash equivalents decreased to $432.5 million at June 30, 2023, from the March 31, 2023 balance of $744.6 million, primarily due to debt repayment, partially offset by higher cash flow from operations (higher sales volumes and realized gold prices). At June 30, 2023 the Company's long term debt was $1,942.0 million and net debt decreased to $1,509.5 million from the March 31, 2023 balance of $1,597.9 million.
On April 7, 2023, Moody's upgraded its credit rating outlook for the Company to "positive" from "stable", while affirming the credit rating at Baa2. On June 20, 2023, Fitch Ratings affirmed its credit rating for Agnico Eagle at BBB+ with a Stable Outlook. These investment grade credit ratings reflect the Company's strong business and credit profile, while maintaining low leverage and conservative financial policies and recognizing the benefits of the Company's size and scale and operations in favourable mining jurisdictions.
In May 2023, the Company received approval from the TSX to renew its normal course issuer bid ("NCIB") pursuant to which the Company is permitted to purchase up to the lesser of (i) 5% of its issued and outstanding common shares and (ii) the number of common shares that may be purchased by the Company for an aggregate purchase price, excluding commissions, of $500.0 million. Purchases under the NCIB may continue for up to one year from the commencement date of May 4, 2023. Purchases under the NCIB will be made through the facilities of the TSX, the NYSE or other designated exchanges and alternative trading systems in Canada and the United States in accordance with applicable regulatory requirements. All common shares purchased under the NCIB will be cancelled.
Agnico Eagle believes that the NCIB provides a flexible tool as part the Company's overall capital allocation program and objectives and generates value for shareholders. In the second quarter of 2023, no purchases were made under the NCIB.
Approximately 55% of the Company's estimated Canadian dollar exposure for the remainder of the year is hedged at an average floor price above 1.32 C$/US$. Approximately 29% of the Company's estimated Euro exposure for the remainder of the year is hedged at an average floor price of approximately 1.03 US$/EUR. Approximately 58% of the Company's estimated Australian dollar exposure for the remainder of the year is hedged at an average floor price above 1.45 A$/US$. Approximately 33% of the Company's estimated Mexican peso exposure for the remainder of the year is hedged at an average floor price above 20.70 MXP/US$. The Company's full year 2023 cost guidance is based on assumed exchange rates of 1.32 C$/US$, 1.10 US$/EUR, 1.40 A$/US$ and 20.00 MXP/US$.
With the completion of the initial diesel purchase for the Company's Nunavut operations on the 2023 sealift, approximately 64% of the Company's diesel exposure for the remainder of the year is hedged at an average price of $0.69 per litre, compared to the 2023 cost guidance assumption of $0.93 per litre. The sea-lift purchase, along with financial hedges, will continue to help mitigate operating cost risks and they are expected to provide protection against diesel price inflation for the remainder of the year.
The Company will continue to monitor market conditions and anticipates continuing to opportunistically add to its operating currency and diesel hedges to strategically support its key input costs. Current hedging positions are not factored into 2023 and future guidance.
In the second quarter of 2023, capital expenditures were $382.4 million and capitalized exploration expenditures were $33.6 million, for a total of $416.0 million. Total expected capital expenditures (including capitalized exploration) remain in line with guidance for the full year 2023.
The following table sets out capital expenditures (including sustaining capital expenditures7 and development capital expenditures7) and capitalized exploration in the second quarter of 2023.
7 Sustaining capital expenditures and development capital expenditures are non-GAAP measures that are not standardized financial measures under IFRS. See "Note Regarding Certain Measures of Performance" and "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Performance Measures – Reconciliation of Sustaining Capital Expenditures to Consolidated Statements of Cash Flow".
(In thousands of U.S. dollars)
June 30, 2023
June 30, 2023
June 30, 2023
June 30, 2023
Sustaining Capital Expenditures
Canadian Malartic complex
Detour Lake mine
Hope Bay project
Pinos Altos mine
La India mine
Total Sustaining Capital
Development Capital Expenditures
Canadian Malartic complex
Akasaba West project
Detour Lake mine
Amaruq underground project
Hope Bay project
Pinos Altos mine
Total Development Capital
Total Capital Expenditures
* Excludes capitalized exploration
2023 Guidance Unchanged
The Company is on track to meet its 2023 gold production guidance of between 3.24 and 3.44 million ounces, which is based on the assumption that the Kittila mill operates at an annual rate of 1.6 Mtpa. Through the first half of 2023, Kittila has maintained operational flexibility to process 2.0 Mtpa in 2023. The SAC is expected to provide its final decision on Kittila's operating permit in the third quarter of 2023. If the SAC reverses the lower court ruling and reinstates the operating permit at 2.0 Mtpa, then the Company expects Kittila to produce up to 30,000 ounces of additional gold in the second half of 2023 as compared to the current guidance, however, the Company can provide no assurance that the SAC will reverse the lower court decision. If the SAC upholds the lower court decision and maintains the current operating permit of 1.6 Mtpa, the Company would be required to scale back operations during the fourth quarter of 2023 to remain within the permitted annual rate.
The Company is also on track to meet its 2023 guidance for total cash costs per ounce and AISC per ounce of between $840 and $890 and between $1,140 and $1,190, respectively. Total expected capital expenditures (excluding capitalized exploration) for 2023 remain at approximately $1.42 billion.
The closing of the Yamana Transaction on March 31, 2023 resulted in a remeasurement of the Company's previously-held 50% ownership of Canadian Malartic. This remeasurement will continue to affect the Company's depreciation and amortization for the remainder of the year as 100% of the assets are re-measured to fair value. The 2023 depreciation and amortization expense guidance is now expected to be between $1.50 to $1.55 billion for the full year 2023 (versus previous guidance of $1.36 and $1.41 billion).
Update on Key Value Drivers and Pipeline Projects
Highlights on the key value drivers (Odyssey mine, Detour Lake mine and optimization of assets and infrastructure in the Abitibi region of Quebec), the Hope Bay project and the San Nicolás project are set out below. Details on certain mine expansion projects (Macassa shaft and new ventilation system, Kittila shaft, Meliadine Phase 2 and Amaruq underground) are set out in the applicable operational sections of this news release.
The Company released the results of a new internal study on the Odyssey project (the "2023 Odyssey Study") in June 2023, reflecting significant project advancements and the new economic environment (refer to the news release dated June 20, 2023). The forecast parameters for the 2023 Odyssey Study include inferred mineral resources that are too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as mineral reserves and there is no certainty that the forecast production amounts will be realized. Key highlights of the 2023 Odyssey Study and work completed in the second quarter of 2023 include:
- Approximately 60% of the surface construction has been completed with approximately $429 million spent on construction and development activities through June 30, 2023
- As at June 30, 2023, approximately 60 metres of the shaft had been sunk, with approximately 50 metres of that concrete-lined. Shaft sinking activities increased through the quarter, with the ongoing commissioning of shaft sinking equipment
- Production via the ramp from Odyssey South totaled 6,750 ounces of gold for the second quarter of 2023. The commissioning of the paste plant is expected to be completed in the third quarter 2023, which will facilitate the production ramp-up to the design rate of 3,500 tpd in 2024
- The extraction of the first stope at Odyssey South in the second quarter of 2023 has shown positive reconciliation with respect to tonnes and gold grade, reflecting the potential contribution from internal zones. The Company continues to drill to better identify the internal zones that have the potential to improve the production profile at Odyssey South. The production levels below level 36 have been redesigned to capture the potential mining recovery of these zones
- The next phase of surface construction and underground mine development is on schedule, with a focus on initiating production from East Gouldie via ramp and shaft in 2027. The main hoist building is expected to be completed in 2025, while the ore silo, the second phase of the paste plant, the shaft sinking and the first loading pocket at mid shaft are expected to be completed in 2027
- Confidence in the mine plan improved, with approximately 53% of mineable gold ounces now categorized as indicated mineral resources compared to approximately 5% in the internal study completed in 2020 (the "2020 Odyssey Study")
- The larger mineable mineral resource extended the mine life to 2042 and increased the forecast gold production for the Odyssey mine by 23%, or 1.7 million ounces of gold, compared to the 2020 Odyssey Study
- Capital expenditures and operating cost estimates were updated to reflect the current inflationary environment
- The larger mineable mineral resource, construction progress and current higher gold price environment more than offset anticipated cost inflation and contributed to an increase in project value when compared to the 2020 Odyssey Study. Using a gold price assumption of $1,650 per ounce and a C$/US$ foreign exchange rate assumption of 1.32, the Odyssey mine has an after-tax IRR of 24% and an after-tax NPV (at a 5% discount rate) of $1.60 billion. At current gold prices of approximately $1,950 per ounce, the after-tax IRR and NPV are approximately 33% and $2.46 billion, respectively
The Company believes the potential for further conversion of inferred mineral resources at Odyssey is significant and is expected to add mine life and continue to increase value. Up to 16 drill rigs were active on the Canadian Malartic property during the second quarter, including: five underground drills in the Odyssey South and internal zones; four surface drills focused on expanding and infilling the East Gouldie mineralization; four drill rigs investigating new regional targets around the Odyssey mine and Canadian Malartic mines; and three drill rigs investigating near-surface targets at the Camflo property, located 4.0 kilometres northeast of the Odyssey mine infrastructure, where a first phase of 60 drill holes was completed early in the second quarter.
During the second quarter of 2023, 32,285 metres of capitalized and expensed drilling were completed. Drilling targeted several areas that are part of the Odyssey mine, including the infill of the East Gouldie deposit from surface, and of the Odyssey South and Odyssey internal zones from the exploration ramp.
Exploration drilling also continued to investigate the broader East Gouldie mineralized zone and extended the zone laterally to the east and to the west. Regional exploration drilling totaled 3,000 metres during the second quarter, with work resuming on the Rand Malartic property to test the extension of the Odyssey mine's different zones and the launch at quarter-end of the Phase 2 drilling program around the Camflo mine to further investigate its near-surface potential.
Detour Lake Mine
In the second quarter of 2023, the Detour Lake mine established a new quarterly record for mill throughput (74,725 tpd), reflecting an improved mill availability of 92.8% and a continued effort to optimize mill processes. The Company is advancing several projects to improve runtime and sustain throughput of 28.0 Mtpa. Areas of focus include modifications to the 610 re-feed chutes, improvements to secondary crusher liner profiles to extend wear life and optimization of the secondary crusher.
The Company is also assessing several projects to potentially exceed the mill throughput of 28.0 Mtpa, including ore sorting and the implementation of advanced process control utilizing artificial intelligence or expert systems. Building on positive results in 2022, the Company initiated an ore sorting pilot test with the objective to process approximately 1.5 million tonnes of low-grade material to establish the key design criteria of a full-size sorting plant. The pilot project will also help determine the economic viability of a full-size sorting operation at Detour Lake.
Ten drill rigs were active in exploration drilling at Detour Lake during the second quarter of 2023, completing 63,326 metres of drilling for a total of 128,539 metres completed during the first six months of 2023.
Drilling during the second quarter targeted specific gold mineralized horizons within and below the West Pit mineral reserve to examine gold continuity between existing drill holes, and targeted the western plunge extension of the open-pit mineralization to firm up the mineralized zones potentially amenable to underground mining, with the following highlights:
- Close to the open pit mineral reserves, hole DLM23-632 returned 2.5 g/t gold over 11.4 metres at 309 metres depth, 12.9 g/t gold over 12.9 metres at 400 metres depth and 1.0 g/t gold over 57.4 metres at 436 metres depth
- In the western extension of the open pit mineral resources, hole DLM23-654A returned 2.7 g/t gold over 14.9 metres at 424 metres depth, 7.6 g/t gold over 2.7 metres at 521 metres depth and 2.5 g/t gold over 16.1 metres at 573 metres depth
- Almost two kilometres west of the open pit mineral reserves, hole DLM23-665 returned 2.8 g/t gold over 14.4 metres at 1,061 metres depth, further demonstrating the continuity of gold mineralization along the main Detour horizon past the current area identified for underground mining potential. The "out-pit" mineralization extends more than 2.4 kilometres west of the current mineral resource pit outline
Additional selected results from the second quarter drilling at Detour Lake are provided in the plan map, composite longitudinal section and table below.
With the ongoing exploration drilling success at Detour Lake, the Company has approved a supplemental exploration budget of $5.2 million for an additional 35,000 metres of drilling at Detour Lake during the remainder of 2023. This additional drilling is expected to accelerate the identification of underground mineral resources in the western pit extension. The previous budget at Detour Lake for the full year 2023 was comprised of $33 million for 171,000 metres of expensed and capitalized drilling.
With continued positive drilling results in the higher grade zones investigated for underground mining potential, the Company has decided to integrate additional drill data from the first half of 2023 into a maiden underground mineral resource model that will be used to evaluate potential underground mining scenarios. Results of an internal evaluation of the underground mining potential are now expected to be reported in the first half of 2024.
Recent selected exploration drill results from West Pit and West Pit Extension zones at Detour Lake