UN SDG 14: Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Agnico Eagle recognizes the critical importance of protecting our marine environment. We have partnered with various institutions and communities to support initiatives to improve research and conservation connected with ocean and marine resources.

Working for a Sustainable Future:

We are committed to the safe and environmentally responsible disposal of our tailings. At our Meliadine mine in Nunavut, which is currently under construction, we will use the filtered tailings disposal method, which will avoid the disposal of tailings in a nearby lake.

Agnico Eagle is a technical advisory group member – along with KivIA, federal and territorial governments, industry, the Hamlet of Baker Lake, universities and other academic institutions – on the development of an Aquatic Cumulative Effects Monitoring Program (CEMP) for the Baker Lake Basin. The Baker Lake Basin is currently affected by several known stressors including climate change, industrial activity and growing northern populations, which may result in cumulative impacts to the watershed over the coming years.

We are strong supporters of responsible marine shipping. A significant amount of mining supplies for our Nunavut Operations are shipped and care is taken to avoid disturbing marine mammals within the shipping lanes. Monitoring is conducted using Inuit Marine Wildlife Monitoring aboard the vessels between Helicopter Island and Baker Lake.

To reduce marine pollution and land–based marine debris, Agnico Eagle disposes all waste in approved landfills, treats sewage to meet regulatory discharge standards and disposes of hazardous materials in regulated facilities. We manage discharge from our mine sites to ensure local freshwater fisheries are protected.  In 2017, we began collaborating with the community of Baker Lake, along with researchers from Dalhousie University and the Universities of Manitoba and Waterloo, to improve the community’s sewage treatment facility discharge for the protection of the downstream traditional fishery.

To protect marine and coastal ecosystems, during construction and operating activities at our Nunavut sites, Agnico Eagle adheres to federally legislated shipping regulations and the Arctic Waters Pollution Prevention Act for the marine transport of dry cargo.

To avoid significant and adverse impacts to marine mammals and sea birds, marine shipping in Nunavut is within established shipping lanes which include:

  • Bécancour, Québec on the St. Lawrence River, along the coast of Labrador to Hudson Strait;
  • through Hudson Strait to Hudson Bay;
  • across Hudson Bay to the mouth of Chesterfield Inlet for the Meadowbank mine; or for the Meliadine mine, directly to Rankin Inlet.

Shipping activities for the Meadowbank mine continue through:

  • Chesterfield Inlet to an anchorage point at Helicopter Island at the head of Chesterfield Inlet;
  • and, Chesterfield Narrows to the hamlet of Baker Lake, which is located on the northwest shore of Baker Lake.

Furthermore, to reduce adverse impacts on marine mammals, Agnico Eagle has committed to having a full-time Marine Mammal Observer on-board vessels; and to recording marine mammals, seabirds and wildlife sightings by local Inuit between Chesterfield and Baker Lake.  Based on Inuit Qaujimatungangit (or Traditional Knowledge) from Coral Harbour hunters, Agnico Eagle has altered our shipping routes.  As an example, depending on the weather, shipping will occur to the south of Coats Island rather than to the north.