Business expansion
Manner-Suomi; Länsi-Suomi; Pirkanmaa
Location of affected unit(s)
Mining / Quarrying
Mining And Quarrying
Mining Of Metal Ores
07 - Mining of metal ores

200 jobs
Number of planned job creations
Job creation
Announcement Date
5 June 2006
Employment effect (start)
1 January 2007
Foreseen end date


Agnico-Eagle is a long established Canadian gold producer with operations located in Quebec and exploration and development activities in Canada, Finland, Mexico and the United States, employing 790 people in total. The Canadian mining company has decided to start excavation of a gold deposit in the Suurikuusikko area of Kittilä, which will become the largest gold mine in Europe.

The topsoil is already being removed from what will be an open-pit mine. The construction of a gold refinery is also scheduled to begin this summer. Test drilling has been going on in the area since 1998. The Suurikuusikko deposit is known to contain at least three million ounces of pure gold. Geologists say that there could be even more gold ore deeper in the ground. The world market price of gold has been rising recently; one ounce - about 31 grammes, is currently worth more than 600 US dollars.

The mine is expected to help create more than 200 jobs in the area for at least 13 years before the deposit is exhausted.

"Opening the mine requires many kinds of construction and road work, which will employ at least 200 people for about two years. In addition, the company will hold an event in a couple of weeks to recruit people to work at the mine", says Kittilä’s municipal mayor Seppo Maula. Kittilä has also mapped out properties for housing for outsiders moving to the area to work at the mine. Kittilä gets most of its revenue from tourism, and the gold mine is seen as an effective way of diversifying the business structure.

Two years ago Agnico-Eagle acquired ownership of the shares of the Swedish Riddarhyttan Resources, which had previously studied the Kittilä deposit. Since then, the company has spent nearly EUR 10 million on test drilling and other studies. "Opening the mine has hinged on finding the right refining method", says deputy CEO Ebe Scarcest, who visited the area in December.

Original plans were for a method involving the use of bacteria, but Agnico-Eagle opted for a more traditional pressure method, which is more expensive, but it is also more environmentally friendly, as it uses less cyanide.



Eurofound (2006), Agnico-Eagle, Business expansion in Finland, factsheet number 63610, European Restructuring Monitor. Dublin, https://restructuringeventsprod.azurewebsites.net/restructuring-events/detail/63610.