The company’s board of directors approved an expansion adding a 1,044m-deep shaft, increasing projected mill throughput to 2Mt/y, or about 25% from current.
The project, which Agnico Eagle said carries a price tag of €160 million (US$198.5 million) and will be phased in over four years. When complete, it is expected annual production will rise by 50,000 to 70,000 ounces per year at reduced operating costs beginning in 2021.
Work on the shaft will provide access to the mineral resource areas below 1,150m, which the miner said could further extend Kittilä's mine life. The new shaft will have hoisting capacity of 2.7Mt/y, the company said.
Kittilä, the largest gold mine in the European Union, is located in Lapland in the northern region of Finland.