November 2022
Gold production in Canada is expected to increase by 3% to 6.55Moz in 2022, from 6.37Moz delivered in 2021. Over the medium term, the country is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.3% to reach 8.5Moz in 2027. This growth will be helped by the commencement of new projects, including Magino, Greenstone, Blackwater, Côte Gold and the Coffee projects.

Canada accounted for 5.7% of global gold production in 2021, ranking the country fifth after China, Russia, Australia and the US. Production growth was mainly due to increases in output at the Agnico Eagle’s Detour Lake, Canadian Malartic, Meadowbank Complex, Meliadine and the Alamos’ Gold Young-Davidson mines, among others.

Ontario and Quebec are the largest gold-producing provinces in the country; together, they represent more than 70% of Canada’s gold output. According to the Canadian government, gold was the nation’s most valuable mined commodity, with C$12.3bn (US$9.18bn) worth of the precious metal produced in 2020.



Canada’s gold exports accounted 307.44t (worth US$15.05bn) in 2021. During the June quarter 2022, gold exports were 76.67t (US$3.2bn), down 22% from 99.47t during the same period last year. Gold was exported mostly to UK (37.8t), South Africa (19.6t), Switzerland (11.2t), and US (7.1t).

Canada has pledged to cut its carbon emissions 40% to 45% below 2005 levels by 2030 and put the country on a path to achieve net-zero emissions by 2050.

Mayfair Gold announced that its Fenn-Gib Project is now Canada’s first carbon neutral gold project. The company stated this after completing its carbon credit purchases to offset its 2021 emissions, its first year of operations. The company bought carbon offsets from the Thermal Residential Heating Aggregation Project to compensate for Fenn-Gib's emissions. The project replaces traditional residential fossil fuel combustion heating with solar-powered heating systems.

Canadian Malartic – the largest operating gold mine in Canada – produced 75.2koz in the September quarter, 13% decrease compared to the same quarter in 2021. Total production in 2022 is expected to reach 640koz. The output reduction comes from an ongoing optimisation of the processing plant to improve the production profile during the transition from the open pit to the underground Odyssey project.

This optimisation is also expected to result in enhanced financial metrics and cash flow. The mill throughput is forecast to return to full capacity of approximately 60,000tpd in the second half of 2024 as the underground mining operations ramp up. The mine’s life is expected to end by 2029 from open pit and 2039 from underground operations.

Pure Gold Red Lake Mine project in Ontario, started commercial operations on August 2021. The mine was expected to add 87.8koza of gold, however, the company has suspended operations at the mine and has placed it on an undefined care and maintenance as the mine has not achieved yet consistent positive cash flow to alleviate the company’s financial problems. Consequently, Pure Gold revoked its production guidance for the December quarter 2022, which was previously set at 9koz-12.5koz.


New Projects to Rule the Medium-Term Supply

Argonaut’s Magino is a feasibility- stage open-pit low-grade oxide project located in Ontario, Canada. The project is expected to produce first gold pour in April 2023. Mineral reserves of 65.5Mt at 1.15 g/t containing approximately 2.4Moz of gold will sustain the life of mine for 19 years.

Equinox Gold acquired a 50% interest in the Greenstone Project through its acquisition of Premier Gold Mines and acquired an additional 10% from Orion Mine Finance Group in April 2021. Greenstone gold project is under construction and expects first gold by 2024 with a LOM of 14-years. Gold production during the first five years is expected to average more than 400koza with an average head grade of 1.45g/t gold.

Artemis Gold has announced the start of site works at the company’s Blackwater project located in British Columbia. The program marks the commencement of on-site work to prepare Blackwater for the start of major works construction activities in March quarter 2023, following receipt of the BC Mines Act Permit expected by the end of the year.

The scope of this program consists of expanding the capacity of the existing exploration camp by 90 rooms; construction of a 245-room construction camp; installation of a wastewater treatment plant; upgrading the potable water storage and treatment system; upgrading existing access roads to improve safety standards; and other activities.

The company expects the program to be completed by December 2022, with final installation of a full-capacity wastewater treatment system and drainage system scheduled for completion in March quarter 2023. According to the 2021 FS, mining operations are assumed to cease in year 17 with stockpiled ore rehandled and processed through the process plant in years 18-22. First gold is targeted by 2024.

IAMGOLD’ Côté Gold project is another advanced stage project targeted to start in 2024. Located in the Chester and Yeo Townships, District of Sudbury, in north-eastern Ontario, Côté Gold is forecasted to produce an average of 492koza for the first five years of an 18-year life of mine.


Agnico Eagle: New Canadian Gold Giant

Agnico Eagle (AEM) produced a total of 2.1Moz of gold in 2021, which positioned it as the sixth world largest gold producer. In February 2022, the company announced the completion of the merger of equals with Kirkland Lake Gold. The transaction worth US$10.62bn topped Newmont’s 2019 acquisition of Goldcorp and signalled an ongoing trend of industry consolidation.

The merger solidifies AEM’s gold production, expected to increase from 2.1Moza to 3.4Moza in 2022 – 75% of it from its Canadian assets – which will position it as the third largest gold producer behind Newmont and Barrick Gold. AEM obtained a total of 18.9Moz in mineral reserves and 22.4Moz in resources. The Canadian assets included in the transaction are the Macassa and Detour Lake Mine, both located in Northern Ontario.

Detour Lake's combined measured and indicated mineral resources totalled 15.2Moz of gold (574.9Mt grading 0.83g/t gold) in 2021, which was a 194% increase in ounces compared to the 5.2Moz in 2020. The increase in measured and indicated mineral resources was driven by significant drilling success in 2021.

The new mine plan adds 5.1Moz of recovered gold, improved production in 2028 to 2031 and mine life extended by ten years to 2052. Detour Lake was the country’s larger gold contributor in 2021 with 712.8koz produced. The mine is expected to produce 715koz in 2022.

Exploration activities at Macassa have delivered positive results. The extension of the ramp from Macassa to the Amalgamated Kirkland (AK) deposit was recently completed. Two underground drills are currently operating in the ramp, with one focused on infill drilling higher grade areas near the proposed bulk sample.

AEM believes ore could be sourced for the Macassa mill in early 2024, which could provide flexibility to the operations. Recent results include a highlight intercept of 30.7g/t gold over 3.6m at 64m depth. Commissioning of Shaft #4 at the mine is expected to commence in the December quarter.



AEM has committed to achieving net-zero emissions by 2050 and has disclosed Scope 3 GHG emissions.  The company reported in 2021 operating greenhouse gas (GHG)-efficient gold mines with a combined intensity of 0.4t of CO2e/oz produced. AEM total GHG Emissions (Scope 1 and 2) in Canada region during 2021, accounted 67% of the company’s total emissions.