Agnico Eagle Finland Oy


The Kittilä mine belongs to the Canadian mining company Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd, which owns nine mines in three countries (Canada, Mexico and Finland). The company is doing exploration in Canada, the USA, Mexico and Scandinavia. The mining company provides employment for approximately 6,700 people, including contractors.

The company’s only mine in Europe is located in Kittilä, Finland, where it is also registered. The Kittilä mine is also the largest gold mine in Europe. The mine has been in operation for about seven years, with the annual production of gold amounting up to this point at approximately 5,300 kg. The first dore bar was poured in January 2009.

Operations at the mine were launched in 2008 with open pit mining, which drew to a close in late 2012. Today there is underground-only operation. Excavated ore is transported from the mine on mine trucks and is either stored in temporary stockpiles or carried directly to the crushing facility from where it is transported on belt conveyors for milling. In flotation – the phase of the process following milling – sulphides attach themselves onto air bubbles which rise to the surface, where they are skimmed and led to autoclave oxidation. In an autoclave, under a high pressure and temperature and aided by an additional injection of oxygen into the autoclave, a process is induced that releases the refractory gold present in the ore. The resulting sludge is leached and conducted to a dissolution circuit, in which the dissolved gold is adsorbed in adsorbent carbon. From absorbent carbon, gold is recovered via acid extraction, after which it is electroplated onto stainless steel wool and poured into bars.

After the gold extraction tailings are pumped to the tailings ponds. Tailings resulting from the flotation and cyanide dissolution processes are stored in separate ponds.

Sludge from the cyanide dissolution process is led to a cyanide destruction process before it is pumped into a pond, in order to ensure that any cyanide residues that may not have been dissolved will be chemically broken down and rendered harmless. Water in the ponds is recycled back to the process, and part of the water used in the flotation stage is pumped, via a treatment peatland, into the recipient waterway (the Seurujoki River), in accordance with the environmental permit.

Part of the flotation tailings and waste rock is used for the pit backfill, and part of the waste rock is hauled by mine trucks to the surface level to be exploited for construction of ponds and roads or dumping.


Toiminta-alue: Kittilä

Yhteystiedot vastuullisuusasioissa:

Anita Alajoutsijärvi
+358 (0)40 511 1508

The company in figures in 2015

  • Tuotantomäärä: A total of 5,517kg, 177,374oz (gold, Au)
  • Kokonaislouhinta: 2.7 million tonnes (ore 54%, waste rock 46%)
  • Raportoidut malmivarat: 28.2 million tonnes, proven (gold 4.80 g/t) and 27.6 million tonnes of probable deposits.
  • Raportoidut mineraalivarannot: 15.9 million tonnes, indicated (gold 3.02 g/t), and 11.8 million tonnes of inferred (gold 4.64 g/t)
  • Toiminnan aloitusvuosi: 2006 (exploration), 2008 (mining)
  • Kaivoksen arvioitu jäljellä oleva elinikä: 20-30 years
  • Kaivosalueen pinta-ala: 1,147 hectares
  • Malminetsintäalueen pinta-ala: 26,345 hectares
  • Omien työntekijöiden määrä: 442
  • Työntekijöiden pääasialliset asuinkunnat: Kittilä 54%, Rovaniemi 12%, Sodankylä 10 % and Kolari 4%
  • Vakituisten urakoitsijoiden määrä: 361
  • Käyttökate EBITDA: EUR 64.5 million
  • Maksettu yhteisövero: EUR 0 (due to an investment related to the production capacity increase)

About exploration

Agnico Eagle Finland Oy has carried out exploration since 2006. The company has valid claims and exploration permits amounting to 26,345 hectares (numbering 228). Exploration areas are thought to contain gold at least. In exploration Agnico Eagle Finland Oy makes use of deep-hole diamond drilling, prospector’s hammer and soil sampling, groove sampling, sampling using mini drilling rig machines (the sampling of rock), geophysical measurements, exploratory trenches dug using hand-held tools, exploratory trenches dug using an excavator, bedrock mapping and the sampling of glacial till. A total of 73km of deep-hole deep drilling was carried out in 2015. No permits concerning the exploration areas are known to be subject to appeal.


Yrityksen ympäristökäytannöt:
Year 2015 Exists Does not exist
Location in a nature reserve X
Environmental management system* X
An environmental impact assessment required (in accordance with the EIA Act) X
Measurements of dust X
Measurements of noise X
Measurements of vibration X
Environmental impact assessment completed X
Deviations from the environmental permit (2015)** X
Environmental collateral exists X
Closure plan for the mine exists X
Plan for the shutdown of the mine in unexpected situations X
*The system has not been certified** Deviations from the permit have concerned temporarily exceeding the limit set for discharge water (on seven occasions), and slightly exceeding the limit set for particulate emissions in the exhaust gas from the ore processing plant (on one occasion).

Keskeiset tunnusluvut:

  • Amount of extractive waste: 1,814,050 t (stockpiled waste rock, 34.6 %, NP tailings, 53.6 %, and CIL tailings, 11.8 %)
  • Utilisation of waste rock: 141 % of waste rock is used; in other words, part of the waste rock used came from the stockpile.
  • Utilisation of NP waste rock: 21 % of the waste rock was used to fill the underground mine with paste.
  • Fuel consumption: 32.6 GWh (with non-renewable fuels amounting to 100%)
  • Consumption of liquid gas: 2.6 GWh (propane)
  • Consumption of electricity: 195 GWh (electricity purchased)
  • Water consumption: 5.0 million m3 (of which natural raw water accounts for 28%)
  • Number of dams in the mining area: 4 pc (Class 1)
  • Number of endangered species appearing in the operational area: 5
  • Usage of chemicals harmful to the environment: Potassiumisoamylxanthate (PIAX) 385 t, sodiumcyanide (NaCN) 350 t and coppersulphate (CuSO4) 1,836 t
  • Endangered plants have been replanted in the botanical gardens of Universities of Oulu and Joensuu

Furthermore, the mining company stocks the recipient waterway (River Seurujoki) with trout juveniles

Personnel and safety

Yrityksen henkilöstökäytännöt:
Year 2015 Exists Does not exist
Employee initiative programme X
Goal and development dialogue programme covering the entire personnel X
Personnel training plan X
Equality plan X
Personnel representation in company management X
Occupational and safety management system* X
All personnel working in the area are in possession of an occupational health card X
Company rescue unit X
* The system has not been certified, and is also applied to contractors    

Keskeiset tunnusluvut vuonna:


  • Average number of training days per year: 2.4 days/employee
  • Absence due to sickness (excluding contractors) 7.7 %
  • Lost-time injury frequency rates (LTIFR): 7.90 (the number of accidents divided by 1,000,000 working hours; the figure covers accidents leading to a loss of more than one shift)
  • Working time schemes currently in use: 7.5 h, 8 h, 10 h, 10,5 h, 11.5 h and 12 h
  • Shift schemes currently in use: day-time work, 1-shift system (5 days of work/5 days of leisure); 2-shift schemes (5 days of work/5 days of leisure); 1-shift system (4 days of work/6 days of leisure); 2-shift scheme (4 days of work/6 days of leisure); unbroken 3-shift scheme (6 days of work, 4 days of leisure), and 1-shift scheme (7 days of work/7 days of leisure)

Impact on the use of neighbouring areas and the sources of livelihood

Sidosryhmäyhteistyö: Impact on local sources of livelihood: Areas of Reindeer Owners’ Association in which mining and exploration are carried out are Kuivasalmi (24,470 ha), Sattasniemi (1,558 ha) and Oijärvi (2,018 ha). Of the area of the Kuivasalmi Reindeer Owners’ Association, approximately 0.024 % (1,163 ha) is covered by the mining concession. Municipalities, the inhabitants of the neighbouring areas, entrepreneurs in tourism, environmental organisations and reindeer owners’ associations are recognised as being the most important stakeholders of the company, and are taken into consideration in the work carried out with them. Furthermore, the mining company stocks the recipient waterway (the Seurujoki River) with trout juveniles, in accordance with its stocking obligation.   Impact on the recreational use of the neighbouring areas:   According to the assessment of the company itself, its activities have not impacted the recreational use of the neighbouring areas.   Impact on the landscape value: Landscape values have been taken into account in the operations of the company. The maximum height of the stockpiling ares of waste rock has been proportioned to the height of other reference points in the area. Endangered plants have been replanted in the botanical gardens of Universities of Oulu and Joensuu. Efforts have been made to minimise tree felling in the area of the mining concession.

Tutkimus- ja yhteistyöhankkeet:

  • Evening meetings and an open-door opportunity for local inhabitants (once a year)
  • Meeting between the collaborative group, the mine and its closest stakeholders arranged two to three times / year (the collaborative group includes the various sections of the municipalities, entrepreneurs, closest neighbours, inhabitants in the neighbouring villages, reindeer herders, church, parish, the tourism business, and the local nature protection association)
  • Continuous collaboration between reindeer herder and, among other things, the representatives of the tourism business The Kuivassalmi Reindeer Owners’ Association reports that interaction has progressed smoothly.
  • Visits to the mine
  • Kaivossanomat (“Mining News”) (issued two to three times / year) and media bulletins intended for the local press
  • The company supports, among other things, education, youth work, sport and recreation activities, environmental and cultural activities, and the recreational activities for the employees’ families.
  • A channel is available for stakeholders to submit feedback, and practices are in place for processing it.


Research and collaborative projects
Various research and collaborative projects, among other things, with universities, polytechnics and research institutes in the field, as well as other operators in mining.