Could you provide an overview of Alamos Gold’s international presence?
Alamos Gold is a diversified intermediate gold producer with a clear strategy and a very strong outlook. We have the Young-Davidson and Island Gold mines in Ontario, as well the Lynn Lake gold project in Manitoba. In Mexico, we own and operate the Mulatos mine in Sonora, and have the Esperanza gold project in Morelos at a permitting stage. We also hold the Kirazlı, Ağı Dağı and Çamyurt gold development projects in Turkey, as well as an option to acquire a 100% interest in the Quartz Mountain gold project in Oregon, USA.
Alamos Gold achieved the best hole drilled at Island Gold in June 2021. How is this project moving forward?
We are in a very intensive capital program, investing heavily to expand our Island Gold mine. From the time we purchased Island Gold until now, resources have tripled in size and the grades have gone up. The latest hole that we drilled not only was of an extraordinarily high grade at 71 g/t Au uncut, but it was also over a 21-meter true width. The average width of the vein that we mine is roughly 4 meters, so, this was five times the normal width. That is an extraordinary hole, and we have several others in proximity to it that have confirmed that we are drilling in an area where there is very high grade. We took the asset from a 7-year mine life to over 15 years with further upside to that, given the ongoing exploration success.
How will the Young-Davidson mine support the company’s goals moving forward?
Young-Davidson is one of the country’s largest underground mines and a long-life operation where we are also getting great exploration results to support mine life extension. Though it is still early days, we are getting a clear idea of where the mine is going — which is very strong with higher production, lower operating costs and a strong free cash flow growth going forward. The project is located in the Abitibi Greenstone Belt, about 60 km west of Kirkland Lake, and will serve as our foundation for growth for many years to come. In mining, exploration truly is our R&D. If you are not investing in R&D, you will be left behind because mines are finite businesses.
What is the outlook for your Mexican operations?
We have a fairly substantial expansion project of US$140 million underway at Mulatos where we are building the low-cost La Yaqui Grande project. We would like to be doing much more but there is a certain level of uncertainty that the current government has introduced into project development and our ability to predict how business will perform in Mexico moving forward.
Twenty years ago, there was a very strong push to attract foreign investment into the country. Mexico was not considered a favourable jurisdiction for mining capital, but we anticipated that the market would eventually change and it did. Alamos prospered very well in Mexico. If the country takes an adverse view to foreign capital to help develop its industry, it will be to the detriment of many of the people who need it most. So we see opportunities in Mexico, but until we get a clearer idea of where the Mexican government wants to go with this industry, we will implement a much slower development timeline.
What is Alamos Gold’s production target for the next few years?
Since 2015, Alamos has spent close to C$2 billion on acquisitions in Canada, and on these projects we have spent between C$300 and C$400 million in capital to improve them, while creating thousands of jobs. Between the expansion at Island Gold and the development of our Lynn Lake project, which would add roughly another 170,000 oz/y Au to production, we ultimately to aim get our Canadian production base up to around 600,000 oz/y Au, and achieve that by 2025. This would make us one of the larger gold producers within Canada. It would also mean that 80% of our production would be coming out of Canada, as opposed to internationally. I believe maintaining a low risk profile on our production base would give investors a lot of confidence.