Agnico Eagle commemorated the official opening of its new Amaruq Whale Tail project by announcing a $1 million donation to four community initiatives that will improve the quality of life for people in Baker Lake.

Luc Chouinard, General Manager of Agnico Eagle’s Meadowbank Operations, made the announcement on Saturday, August 24th, during the annual Baker Lake Festival by the Lake celebration.

“Agnico Eagle is dedicated to developing mineral resources responsibly and for the benefit of all. We are proud to contribute to the growth and prosperity of Baker Lake and its surrounding communities. And, we are committed to creating strong communities and a legacy of support that will help nurture the next generation of Nunavummiut.”

During the event, Mr. Chouinard announced Agnico Eagle will help fund the following community priority initiatives:

  • A donation of $500,000 over the next five years to the Baker Lake Abluqta Society to establish a food bank and help address food insecurity in the region. The five-year funding program will support the delivery of:
    • A weekly hot lunch program for Elders
    • Weekly meals for volunteers who will staff the Food Bank (and related Thrift Shop) and organize various fundraising initiatives
    • A steady supply of dry food goods, allowing families most in need to pick up a food basket
    • Sufficient dry food reserve stocks for emergencies, with special attention to those with children at home
  • A donation of $250,000 to the Hamlet of Baker Lake Fire Department to purchase a garage to house and secure its new ambulance. The ambulance was recently purchased by Arctic Fuel – a local supplier to Agnico Eagle – as a gift to the community. However, due to a fire that had destroyed one of the municipal garages back in January, there was no place to safely park the ambulance and it was not able to be placed into service.  By purchasing the garage, Baker Lake is finally able to put its new ambulance into service and provide better community health and emergency care to its citizens.
  • A donation of $150,000 to Baker Lake Search & Rescue for the acquisition of sophisticated drone technology and other equipment related to implementing more effective search and rescue operations – a critical need in remote northern communities – and to provide the required technical training and certification for the operators.
  • A donation of $100,000 to Baker Lake’s Department of Recreation for the purchase of a new sound and lighting system. The Hamlet regularly hosts very popular square dances and other events at its Community Centre.

Over 2,000 people attended the Community Celebration for the Amaruq Whale Tail Opening.

In announcing Agnico Eagle’s support for  legacy initiatives, Mr. Chouinard said, “Abluqta means ‘step forward’ in Inuktitut and that is exactly what we’re hoping to achieve with our support for these community-identified priorities – helping the people of Baker Lake take a step forward and improve their lives by strengthening local food security, expanding their health care and emergency services, and by providing more opportunities to socially interact with their friends and family.”

What is the Amaruq Whale Tail Project? Amaruq is a satellite deposit located approximately 50 km northwest of Agnico Eagle’s existing Meadowbank mine. Amaruq hosts the Whale Tail gold deposit, which is being developed as a conventional open pit mining operation that will supply ore to the Meadowbank mill. Currently, there are 240 employees and contractors working at the site and once commercial production gets underway, we anticipate Amaruq Whale Tail will produce approximately 2.5 million ounces of gold between 2019 and 2025, with annual gold production averaging 272,500 ounces.