Exclusive: Agnico eyes selling minority stake in Arctic project - sources

Mon Oct 28, 2013 3:07pm EDT
 
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By Euan Rocha

TORONTO (Reuters) - Canadian gold miner Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd AEM.TO AEM.N is considering selling a minority stake in its Meliadine gold project in the Canadian sub Arctic, according to two sources familiar with the situation.

The Toronto-based miner, which owns operations in Canada, Finland and Mexico, has held some preliminary discussions with interested parties, said the sources, who asked not to be named as they are not authorized to discuss the matter with the media.

However, a deal is unlikely until after Agnico completes a feasibility study on the project during the first half of 2014, the sources added.

Agnico declined to comment on the matter.

"Our goal is to complete the feasibility study on Meliadine early next year, as well as obtain all the necessary regulatory permits required to move forward with development," Agnico spokesman Dale Coffin said in an email. "Anything else at this point would be speculation, and we do not comment on speculation."

Meliadine, located near the western shore of Hudson Bay in the Kivalliq region of the territory of Nunavut, is one of Agnico's more advanced projects and is likely to drive the next phase of the company's growth.

CREATIVE OPTIONS

One source familiar with the situation said that because of rising development costs and the decline of the gold price, Agnico and other gold miners are compelled to consider more "creative" means of funding projects such as Meliadine.   Continued...

 
Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Sean Boyd speaks during the annual general meeting of shareholders in Toronto April 27, 2012. REUTERS/Mike Cassese