Strategy overview

Agnico Eagle is determined to make a significant and positive difference in the communities where we operate and in the lives of our employees.

This commitment is founded on our core values – to operate safely, protect the environment, and treat our employees and communities with respect:

  • Respect for our employees: We aim to maintain a safe and healthy workplace that is based on mutual respect, fairness and integrity.
  • Protect the environment: We aim to minimize the effects of our operations on the environment and maintain its viability and its diversity.
  • Operate safely: We believe that all loss due to accidents/incidents is preventable. We aim to operate a safe and healthy workplace that is injury and fatality free. We believe that if we all work together, we can achieve zero accidents in the workplace and enhance the well-being of employees, contractors and communities.
  • Respect for our communities: We aim to contribute to the social and economic development of sustainable communities associated with our operations.

We integrate health, safety, environment and social acceptability into all aspects of our business strategy and management principles. Our strategy and reporting program targets five areas: health and safety of employees and contractors; environmental issues related to waste and water management, tailings and mine closures; employee and stakeholder engagement; direct economic value to key stakeholders; and governance matters.

We are committed to maintaining high performance standards in health, safety, environment and community development.

Sustainable development is integrated into our business strategy and our management principles. For Agnico Eagle, it is a non-negotiable item of good management.

We promote a culture of excellence that encourages our employees to continuously improve their skills and performance and to not only meet, but exceed, regulatory requirements for health, safety, community development and the environment.

We continue to integrate sustainable development considerations into our business strategy and in the way we plan and manage our activities. Our Sustainable Development Policy reflects an emphasis on health and wellness, our commitment to the protection of human rights, and a commitment to minimize risks associated with the management of tailings and water. During the year, we continued to strengthen governance of our mine waste and water management infrastructure. We also established a dedicated Indigenous Relations team to advance our engagement with First Nations, Metis, Inuit, and other Indigenous Peoples. We also confirmed our diversity and inclusion commitment in implementing a policy that enhances our practices in this regard.

We are committed to maintaining the highest health and safety standards possible. Our long-term goal is to strengthen our health and safety culture with more individual accountability and leadership. This is accompanied by a shift to aspirational zero harm safety targets and leading performance indicators.

2018 Key Highlights:

  • 0 fatalities
  • 1.28 combined lost-time accident and restricted work frequency
  • 20,227,598 hours worked, the highest in Agnico Eagle’s history
  • 0 lost-time accidents recorded by our Exploration Group
  • 1 perfect year of safety recorded by Lapa; triple zero performance, 52 weeks worked with no lost-time accidents, no restricted work cases and no fatalities

Our combined lost-time accidents (LTA) and restricted work cases (RW) frequency rate for employees and contractors was 1.28, as compared to our objective of achieving a rate of 1.10. Our safety performance, unfortunately, fell short of our target objective mainly due to the extensive construction activities at our Nunavut operations, which contributed to a higher number of incidents recorded for the year, leading to a higher combined frequency than targeted. It is important to note, however, that safety performance for the year improved over 2009 levels, a similar period of intensive construction during the development of our Meadowbank mine.

Excluding Nunavut, the combined LTA and RW frequency rate of Agnico Eagle’s six other operating mines was at 0.62 as compared to 0.70 in 2017, with all six mines below their frequency objective for the year. Lapa, once again, achieved triple zero performance. This is particularly meaningful given that Lapa ceased mining operations at the end of 2018, signifying that employees continued to take that extra step to ensure their colleagues’ safety. Also, the Exploration group did not record any lost-time accidents in 2018.

To learn more about our health and safety performance and priorities,click here.

To read about our H&S stories, click here.

We focus on limiting our environmental impacts by using natural resources efficiently, by preventing or limiting emissions and by reducing waste. Each of our operations is required to identify, analyze and manage its environmental risks and to work in a transparent manner with local stakeholders, building a foundation of trust and cooperation.

2018 Key Highlights

  • 41,346 tonnes (CO2 equivalent) of GHG produced by our operations
  • 0.02 ton of CO2 equivalent per tonne of ore treated
  • 12.4M tonnes of tailings generated by our operations
  • 24% of tailings returned underground in paste backfill
  • 9.8Mm3 of water released to the environment from all our mining operations compared to 11.9 Mm3 in 2017
Energy Use

Our annual electricity consumption from the grid increased by 1% to 969 gigawatt hours (GWh) in 2018 from 960 GWh in 2017. Our annual electricity production decreased to 146 GWh from 154 GWh in 2017. This decrease was related to lower throughput of 15% at the Meadowbank mill due to ore depletion at the Vault and Portage pits. Overall, the total amount of electricity used, both from external grids and generated onsite, increased to 1,115 GWh from 1,114 GWh in 2017. Goldex Mine’s usage increased due to the start-up of Deep 1 mining zone and the introduction of the Rail Veyor system. At Kittila and La India Mines, the increase is attributed to increased ore treatment.

Greenhouse Gas Emissions

We calculate direct and indirect greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on a monthly basis and report them annually to the Carbon Disclosure Project both in tonnes of GHG (CO2 equivalent) and in intensity, which is the amount of tonnes of GHG (CO2 equivalent) per tonne of ore processed. Total direct and indirect GHG emissions were 411,346 tonnes of CO2 equivalent in 2018, a 0.1% decrease from 2017. This is attributed to the decrease in mined tonnes as the Vault and Portage pits at Meadowbank Mine were being depleted, the closure of the open pit at Pinos Altos Mine and the commissioning of the Rail Veyor at Goldex Mine. LaRonde Complex increased its GHG emissions due to the startup of the LaRonde Zone 5.

Water management

In 2018, we began developing a water management guide for all of our operations. It is being prepared by a water internal governance committee and supported by the recently developed corporate standard (CS) document for water management, following the introduction of MAC-TSM’s new Water stewardship protocol. Work on this initiative will continue during 2019.

In 2018, the total fresh water withdrawn by Agnico Eagle from all sources was 7.340 million m3 (Mm3), a 14% increase from 6.416 Mm3 in 2017. La India required more volume of fresh water to offset a dry 2017 season and maintain the water ponds at optimum levels of operation. LaRonde’s new Zone 5 generated additional need for fresh water use. Our total water use was 0.37 m3 per tonne of ore processed, up from 0.30 m3 per tonne in 2017, which represents a 21% increase. This is attributed to the increase of fresh water use mentioned above and lower throughput at Meadowbank, Pinos Altos and Lapa Mines.

Waste and Tailings Management

In 2018, we managed tailings storage facilities (TSF) across our operations (LaRonde, Goldex, Kittila, Pinos Altos and Meadowbank) and legacy properties (Joutel, Cobalt and Kirkland Lake). All facilities performed as intended, with no significant incidents and with their inspections and reviews conducted as scheduled. We continued to strengthen governance of our mine waste and water management infrastructure.

In an effort to optimize rock storage design and water management, a series of measures were implemented in 2018: Agnico Eagle officially joined the International Network of Acid Prevention (INAP); and, with the help of a reinforced technical team, and the creation of a multi-disciplinary steering committee (Environment, Metallurgy and Geology), geochemical characterization practices have been refined and communicated across the operations. Additionally, as a partner of the UQAT– Polytechnique Research Institute on Mines and Environment in Quebec, Agnico Eagle supports and participates in research projects that address current and upcoming environmental challenges.

To learn more about our environment performance and priorities, click here.

To read about our Environment stories, click here.

Agnico Eagle’s people and culture has always been our competitive strength and advantage. It is critical to our current and future success that we maintain our corporate culture where every person is treated with dignity and respect, and people interact on the basis of collaboration, commitment and dedication to excellence.

2018 Key Highlights

  • 100% of our workforce from Pinos Altos and La India Mines are from Mexico
  • 16 % of our employees are women
  • 398 employees at our Nunavut operations are Inuit
  • 8698 employees and contractors worked for Agnico Eagle worldwide at the end of 2018
  • 19th out of 75 companies for Agnico Eagle Mexico in Great Place to Work’s Best Workplaces in Mexico in the 500 to 5000 employees category
Maximizing Local Employment

Our goal is to hire 100% of our workforce, including our management teams, directly from the local region in which each of our operations is located.

In Agnico Eagle Mexico, 100% of the workforce is from Mexico, with the majority living in the northern states of Mexico, Chihuahua, Sonora, and Sinaloa. Our Kittila operation in northern Finland is essentially 100% Finn operated. Approximately 98% of Kittila mine employees live in Finnish Lapland.

In northern Canada, we remain focused on creating sustainable jobs and careers in mining for the Inuit population with an overall objective of obtaining 50% Inuit employees for all of our Nunavut operations.


In December, Agnico Eagle implemented a Diversity and Inclusion Policy, which outlines the principles to promote diversity and inclusion across all aspects of our business. We continue to identify and work to mitigate systemic barriers to the participation and advancement of women in the mining industry in Canada, notably with a focus at our Northern Operations on eliminating barriers that impact Inuit women at our sites in Nunavut. In addition, we are enabling increased diversity and inclusion in the North by building civility skills to further enhance respect and trust in the workplace.

Employee Training

We ensure our employees have the tools and skills they need to perform their jobs efficiently and safely and to achieve their full potential. We place a particular emphasis on health and safety training, to ensure that our employees are achieving Agnico Eagle’s workplace health and safety standards. We continue to provide training that enhances employees’ personal and career development opportunities through our ‘People Development’ process. In 2018, we provided more than 218,000 hours of training to our employees and contractors for an average of 25 hours per total employees and contractors.

To learn more about our employment performance and priorities, click here.

To read about our People stories, click here.

We act in a socially responsible manner and contribute to the communities in which we operate in order to make a difference in their everyday lives. We are committed to working with our employees and other stakeholders to create growth and prosperity, which allows all stakeholders to benefit from our mining experience.

2018 Key Highlights

  • $5.7M in contributions to various organizations and events
  • $40M Total contributed in community investments since 2009
  • 370 tonnes of hazardous materials cleaned up at the Baker Lake landfill
  • 23,000 plastic bottles were collected during our campaign Beating Plastic Pollution at Pinos Altos Mine
  • 3 major infrastructure projects were funded in the Abitibi region to improve community and health services:
Community engagement

In 2018, we continued to improve the integration of community relations and stakeholder engagement into our RMMS, ensuring our sustainability program remains focused on stakeholder priorities. We also updated the assessment of our social risks.

During the year, our sites managed community response mechanisms and proactively engaged with surrounding communities to gain community understanding and ensure transparent communications.

In order to enhance our community engagement efforts, we have now developed community-based regional websites in all areas where we have mine operations.

Indigenous relations

In 2018, we established a dedicated Indigenous Relations team to strengthen our ties and increasingly engage with Indigenous communities in Quebec and Ontario.

Tracking Community issues

We are committed to improving our social acceptability performance. Our community relations efforts focus on eliciting community feedback on current or proposed activities and on identifying and resolving issues.

Community Investments

In 2018, our community investment program continued to target initiatives that enable each of the communities where we operate to benefit from economic development in their region, even after mining ceases. Our goal is to provide both Agnico Eagle and our host communities with optimum return on our investments in strategic health, education and capacity-building initiatives. Since 2009, Agnico Eagle’s community investments have totalled close to $40 million.

To learn more about our Communities performance and priorities click here.

To read about our Communities stories, click here.

We believe the biggest contribution we can make to the well-being of the communities in which we operate is through the creation of long-term employment opportunities and the provision of economic development possibilities supported by local procurement and public revenues. In 2018, Agnico Eagle provided $428 million in wages and benefits to our global workforce and paid $284 million in taxes, royalties and fees to all levels of government (including Indigenous groups). We produced 1,626,669 million ounces of gold.

2018 Key Highlights

  • $1.47B in payments to suppliers
  • $2.18B in economic contributions
  • $284M in taxes and others payments to governments
  • $428M paid to employees in wages and benefits
Taxes and Royalty Payments

In 2018, we made payments in taxes, royalties and fees to governments at all levels (including Indigenous groups) totalling $284 million.

We contributed approximately $107 million in taxes and royalties to Quebec, Canada (since 2010, we have paid a total of $211 million in royalties to Quebec); $55 million in taxes, royalties, fees and compensation payments in Nunavut, Canada (both to government and to Inuit organizations representing Inuit beneficiaries under the Nunavut Land Claim Agreement); $20 million in taxes and royalties to Finland; approximately $69 million in taxes and royalties to Mexico; and, $33 million in taxes to Ontario.

Buying Locally

Agnico Eagle strives, where feasible, to buy from locally based suppliers as a way of supporting the economic vitality of our communities while at the same time minimizing the environmental impact of transporting materials from distant locations to our sites. In 2018, our mines spent $920 million on the procurement of local goods and services. This represents 63% of all procurement spending in 2018.

To learn more about Economic Value performance and priorities, click here.

To read about Economic Value stories, click here.

Our Sustainability Stories and Videos