On the eve of Agnico-Eagle's annual general meeting Thursday, the company reported record gold production of 91,812 ounces for the first-quarter 2009, as well as a net income of $54.3 million or 35-cents per share.
The result included a tax recovery of $38.6 million or 25-cents per share, a non-cash forex translation gain of $7.5 million or 5-cents per share, offset by a stock option expense of $12 million or 8-cents per share.
Gold production increased 80% over the first quarter of 2008. Agnico CEO Sean Boyd said gold output this year is anticipated to be 550,000 ounces to 575,000 ounces. Total cash costs were reported at $312/oz, compared to negative $399 in the first-quarter 2008.
The company anticipates that full year capital expenditures will total $540 million in 2009, an increase from the original estimate of $450 million. The increase is being attributed to more spending on freight, air transport, engineering and labor at the Meadowbank project in the Canadian Arctic, which is now approach $60 million.
Agnico is planning a grand opening celebration at its Kittila mine in northern Finland on June 4th. The gold mine poured its first gold in January and has proven and probable reserves of 3.2 million ounces.
Meanwhile the Lapa gold mine in northwestern Quebec began its production this month. The mine is expected to average 115,000 ounces of annual gold production through 2015.
The Pinos Altos mine in northern Mexico is expected to begin production in the third quarter of this year, anticipating an average annual gold production of 175,000 ounces through 2022. Annual silver production is expected to average 2.6 million ounces.
The Meadowbank mine project in Nunavut is expected to commence production during the first quarter of 2010 with an average annual gold production of 350,000 ounces through 2019.