At December 31, 2007 Agnico-Eagle’s proven and probable gold reserves hit a record of 16.7 Moz, an increase of 33% over the year end 2006 level. The 4.5 Moz growth in gold reserves was a result of successful definition drilling at development projects, which converted 1.6 Moz to reserves, and the acquisition of the Meadowbank project. Gold resources also continued to grow to record levels. Indicated mineral resources now stand at 2.8 Moz while the Inferred mineral resource stands at 4.7 Moz.
With its largest ever exploration program now underway, combined with better drilling access, the company says it is well positioned to achieve its gold reserve target of 18-20 Moz within the next 12 months. “With the growth in Reserves and Resources at several of the key development projects, it is anticipated that the upper end of this target range may be exceeded within the next two years as promising results continue to be encountered outside of the current envelopes.”
In the northwest quadrant of the Pinos Altos property in Mexico, the initial Inferred resource estimate on the Creston Colorado zone is 7.7 Mt, grading 1.4 g/t gold, or 0.4 Moz. A scoping study for a stand-alone operation is underway
Deep drilling at Kittila in Finland has confirmed the depth extension of the main Suuri deposit to some 1,000 m (approximately 350 m below the current reserves and resources). These results have not been incorporated into the current resource estimates
“The steady growth in gold reserves, and more importantly, gold reserves per share continues to add value for our shareholders. With gold reserves and resources at record levels, and with several of our large deposits open for further expansion, we anticipate further resource to reserve conversion in 2008” said Sean Boyd, Vice-Chairman and CEO. “Additionally, the recent deep exploration success at Kittila provides optimism that this property is one of several in our portfolio that could ultimately grow to contain over 5 Moz of gold reserves” added Boyd.
The Company’s budgeted exploration expenditure in 2008 exceeds C$65 million and is expected to result in drilling of approximately 270 km using 25 drill rigs. The total expenditure is the highest level in the company’s history.
Currently, each of Agnico-Eagle’s 16.7 Moz of gold reserves are at sites under construction, or in production, and are located in mining-friendly regions with low political risk.