At most recent count, Northern Canada has an estimated total population of 126,566 people and produces a lot more gold per capita when compared to any other region in Canada. This includes Ontario, which is the largest gold-producing territory or province in Canada.
Northern Canada is made up of three territories: Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Yukon. The former is the third-largest gold producing territory/province in Canada. Last year, the territory produced 465 koz while Yukon is the eighth largest, producing 84 koz of gold in 2019.
The Yukon territory was engulfed in the famous Klondike Gold Rush towards the end of the 1800s. Currently, another gold rush is taking place in the Northern Canada, often called the North. Given that the North consists of stable jurisdictions that are mining friendly and politically attractive and that the region has great geological potential, this trend isn’t surprising.
Northern Canada could potentially become an exploration and strategic mining melting pot for many gold juniors, developers and miners, with the capacity to drive positive cash flows and strong production of gold for years to come.
In the second quarter of this year, the North yielded 136.1 kilo ounces of gold, a replication of its 2019 second quarter figure of 136.9 kilo oz. The Meliadine mine in Nunavut, owned by Agnico Eagle, is the biggest gold mine in the North and produced 59.4 koz in the same quarter. However, after the pandemic began, the mine’s activity levels decreased from March until early June.
To achieve normal operating levels in June, mine activity was stepped up systematically in April and May. The drop in mine activities in part of the second quarter of this year led to a substantial decrease in production as well as a rise in production costs.
Hope Bay mine, owned by TMAC, came in second in terms of gold production with 29 koz in 2020’s second quarter. Victoria Gold’s Eagle Gold mine, located in Yukon, achieved precommercial yields of 28.4 koz in the second quarter.
Another mine operated by Agnico Eagle, Meadowbank, located in Nunabut, generated 16.4 kilo oz of gold, which is 56% less than its second-quarter production in 2019. This year’s second quarter began in lowered operating mode because of COVID-19 measures, which reduced open-pit mining operations to 50% in April.
While temporary employees were enlisted to boost various mining activities, operations gradually increased in May. The processing plant returned to optimum production capacity with superior grade ore in June, after being on care and maintenance for a while.
From the above, one can see that, despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic, not only are things going back to normal but also that the mines are capable of producing more, making the region an economically viable place to be.
A company you need to watch in the mining industry is Josemaria Resources Inc. (TSX: JOSE) (OTC Pink: JOSMF). At the moment, the company has focused on developing its gold and copper mining project located in San Juan, Argentina.
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