Managing our environment responsibly

Our efforts focus on minimizing our environmental footprint, by preventing or limiting emissions, and reducing waste. Each of our operations is responsible to identify, analyze, and manage environmental risks and to work in a transparent manner with local stakeholders, building a foundation of trust and cooperation. 

2021 Key Highlights

  Combined Legacy Agnico Eagle Legacy Kirkland Lake Gold
Tonnes (CO2 equivalent) of GHG Scope 1 & 2 emissions produced by our operations  1,184k 692k 492k
Of our electricity is from renewable sources  40% 46% 32%
Freshwater Recycled  78% 71% 89%

Of freshwater withdrawn for use from all sources 
10.1 Mm3 8.9 Mm3  1.3 Mm3

Energy and Climate Change

Agnico Eagle recognizes the important role that industry plays in addressing climate change and is actively working on initiatives to help reduce our carbon footprint and mitigate climate change risks, while continuing to grow our operations. Both Legacy Agnico Eagle and Legacy Kirkland Lake Gold committed to achieving net-zero by 2050, and the new Agnico Eagle maintains this same commitment. In 2021, both organizations accelerated efforts to ensure a climate resilient business by strengthening climate governance, performing climate risk assessments and working to align with the updated Towards Sustainable Mining’s Climate Change Protocol. We have started to align our reporting on climate change with the recommendations of the TCFD and released our Scope 3 GHG assessment results in our 2020 and 2021 Sustainability Reports.

In October 2021, Legacy Agnico Eagle also became formal supporters of the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD). The New Agnico Eagle continues to support TCFD and will continue to work to expand the business’s resiliency and annual climate-related disclosures. 


Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Direct (Scope 1) and indirect (Scope 2) GHG emissions for Legacy Agnico Eagle and Legacy Kirkland Lake Gold increased from previous years for a combined amount of 1,184 k tonnes of CO2e. This is mostly attributed to increased production at our Nunavut and Detour Lake operations, and increased energy intensity in Australia.

Our largest source of direct GHG emissions is diesel fuel consumption for mobile equipment and electricity generation, while most Scope 2 emissions come from the purchase of electricity in Mexico, Finland and Australia where a significant proportion of the grid is powered by non-renewable electricity. Our average GHG emissions intensity (tonnes of CO2 equivalent per oz of gold produced) has remained stable for the last few years with a combined GHG intensity of 0.37 tonnes of CO2e per oz of gold produced in 2021. 

Both Legacy Agnico Eagle and Legacy Kirkland Lake Gold were among the leaders in GHG emissions performance. In 2021, eight of our eleven operations outperformed the S&P Global Market Intelligence 2021 average for GHG emissions intensity per gold ounce produced which allows the new Agnico Eagle to have one of the lowest GHG emission intensities of any senior gold producer. Nonetheless, we remain strongly committed to continuing to explore technology and solutions that will continually improve our carbon accounting and performance, so we remain a leader in low carbon production and best practices even as we continue to grow the company.

Scope 3 emissions are indirect emissions associated within our value chain such as goods and services, upstream transportation and distribution, and employee commuting. Currently, we estimate and report our Scope 3 emissions annually using incurred expenses and industry averages as described in the GHG Protocol Standard. This includes spend-base emission factors developed by Quantis for most categories and categorizing over 1,100 suppliers into 24 different activity types. Our 2021 Scope 3 emissions considers all Scope 3 categories material to our organization and includes analysis of Legacy Kirkland Lake Gold Scope 3 emissions using the same approach.
Total combined 2021 Scope 3 GHG emissions are estimated at about 2.3 million tonnes of CO2 eq. Most of these emissions (68%) come from the purchase of standard goods and services from carbon intensive industries such as chemicals, mining services and construction. Given the approximate nature of this assessment and the rapidly evolving practice, it is expected that our Scope 3 assessment may vary in the coming years. We will continue to work on improving our Scope 3 assessments to better understand emissions occurring in our value chain so we can better identify and collaborate on suitable reduction opportunities.



Water Management

Access to safe water is a fundamental human right and managing and using water responsibly is a critical component of our operations and overall approach to responsible mining. As part of this, we consider water quality and water quantity as indicators of performance and understand that water management strategies at each operation must be tailored to manage potential impacts, risks, opportunities, and efficiencies specific to the operation. Each operation has unique monitoring and treatment requirements, based on their location, the season, and their on-site processes.

We prioritize the conservation of freshwater by reducing water usage, reusing, and recycling water as much possible. The figure below provides a high-level summary of our global water balance including the different sources of water used and managed at our facilities.

In 2021, the total fresh water withdrawn to meet operational demands was 8.9 million m3 (Mm3) for Legacy Agnico Eagle and 1.3 Mm3 for Legacy Kirkland Lake Gold. Agnico Eagle has improved its freshwater use efficiency, reducing its overall intensity by more than 20% in the last three years. Kirkland Lake Gold performance has remained steady in this same period 
In 2021, Agnico Eagle implemented a Water Management Policy and released an updated Corporate Standard for Water Stewardship. The policy emphasizes our commitment to manage water using Best Applicable Practices with the objective to protect public health and safety, minimize harm to our employees and protect the environment.

In 2021, Agnico Eagle implemented a Water Management Policy and released an updated Corporate Standard for Water Stewardship. The policy emphasizes our commitment to manage water using Best Applicable Practices with the objective to protect public health and safety, minimize harm to our employees and protect the environment.



Tailings and Waste Management

Agnico Eagle has developed stringent guidelines that govern management of our Tailings Storage Facilities (TSFs) to ensure that all infrastructures, whether operating or closed, meet, or exceed regulatory requirements and industry standard practices or guidelines.

We are committed to the safe and responsible management of our TSFs and to continually improving the management of our facilities through developing and incorporating best practices. Our Accountable Executive Officer (AEO) reports yearly to our Board of Directors on the compliance of TSFs to regulatory requirements and guidelines; as well as on whether all operations have the resources to continue to meet or exceed these standards. An Independent Review Board composed of highly reputable and competent individuals with tailing management expertise is in place for each Legacy Agnico Eagle operation. Responsible Persons and Engineers of Record are assigned for all Legacy Agnico Eagle operating sites. We recognize the important role and competence both in our in-house and external experts bring to this critical work. This governance model for environmental critical infrastructures will be expanded to the Legacy Kirkland Lake operations. 

For our 2021 Tailings Summary Report, which includes an updated quantitative risk assessment of our different infrastructures for Legacy Agnico Eagle sites, click here.