Upper Beaver Project

Agnico Eagle is currently evaluating opportunities to develop the Upper Beaver deposit, located in the township of Gauthier in northeastern Ontario, into a gold and copper mine.

As we explore Upper Beaver’s potential, we are committed to sharing information on this website about each phase of the project development and to conducting meaningful community engagement in order to build understanding and trust about the transparency, potential impacts and social acceptability of our plans.

Project Overview

Agnico Eagle is planning to develop and operate a new underground gold and copper mine with a small open pit and processing facility at the Upper Beaver Project site, located approximately 5km northeast of Dobie, Ontario, in the Gauthier and McVittie townships. Currently, the Project is in the Exploration phase, with the goal of beginning an Advanced Exploration Program in 2024, pending internal approval.

Related to the mine project design, although the base case scenario continues to include a mill and tailings storage facilities on site during production, other alternatives are still under evaluation. Agnico Eagle expects to consolidate the results of various internal evaluations early in 2024 and report results through the first half of 2024. Any alternatives retained for the Project will be addressed in the Impact Statement.


Upper Beaver is part of Agnico Eagle’s Kirkland Lake exploration properties located in the south-central portion of the Abitibi greenstone belt, in northeastern Ontario. The project is located approximately 5 km northeast of Dobie Ontario, in the Gauthier and McVittie townships. The entire area is a historical mining camp that continues to demonstrate mineral value. We believe the Upper Beaver project and our Kirkland Lake properties may have the potential for developing a new mining platform and creating a long-term economic benefit to the region


Project Phases and Expected Timeline

This timeline describes the standard phases of a mine development project, which typically occur in sequence with the transition from one phase to the next based on the results and approvals obtained at each stage. In practice, however, the phases may overlap, as some work is conducted simultaneously. To learn more about each phase, hover over the graphic and a pop-up window will appear with additional information.

We are here

Agnico Eagle is evaluating opportunities to develop the Upper Beaver deposit and to explore the surrounding deposits and mineralized occurrences through exploration programs that feature prospecting, geophysical surveys and diamond drilling.

Since 2018, Agnico Eagle has:

  • explored and conducted conversion drilling on the property
  • conducted a technical review of historical operations and updated all geological models
  • increased mineral reserves and expanded gold mineralization
  • assessed and began developing the Advanced Exploration Phase
  • engaged and consulted with local communities and Indigenous groups for permitting of the Upper Beaver project Advanced Exploration Phase and production phase
  • completed and updated baseline studies, modelled possible impacts and drafted permits
  • evaluated possible scenarios for the Production Phase, including potential synergies with different deposits around the property and new assets from recent acquisition
  • undertook engagement activities regarding the Exploration, Advanced Exploration and Production Phases
  • submitted an Initial and  Detailed Project Description to Federal Impact Assessment Agency of Canada for the production phase: Upper Beaver Gold Project



  • Prospecting
  • Diamond Drilling
  • Magnetic Survey
  • Site Investigation
  • Baselines Studies
  • Environmental Monitoring



  • Economic Studies
  • Baselines Studies
  • Impact Assessment
  • Exploration Shaft and Ramp
  • Underground Development
  • Underground Bulk Sampling
  • Environmental Monitoring



  • Construction of Mill
  • Construction of Tailing Facilities
  • Construction of other facilities required for production
  • Environmental Monitoring



  • Extraction of ore for commercial production
  • Operation of Mill
  • Storage of tailing on site
  • Progressive rehabilitation
  • Environmental Monitoring



  • Decommissioning
  • Reclamation
  • Environmental Monitoring

2023 Activities Overview:

No exploration drilling took place at the Upper Beaver Property in 2023. A new focus led to regional projects encompassing soil, outcrop, and tree bark sampling, coupled with meticulous mapping. In preparation for the anticipated Advanced Exploration program in 2024, a geotechnical program was completed in December at various locations at the Project site to help confirm infrastructure foundation requirements. A geomechanical drill hole was also completed in December, next to the shaft location, to gather additional information on rock conditions to support mining design optimization. Related to the Impact statement preparation, Agnico Eagle has been working on finalizing engineering designs and concepts required to assess potential impacts and evaluating potential alternatives and their associated potential impacts and mitigation measures. The continuation of baseline studies is also ongoing, as well as engagement with Indigenous Nations and the Public. In 2023, Agnico Eagle hosted three main engagement events, a Public Information Session in June, an online community survey from June to August, as well as a Public Workshop on Project Alternatives in November. Valuable community feedback was received and has been thoroughly documented.  Outcomes of engagement events can be found in the Documents section.  Further activities and engagement will continue in 2024 and details on our activities, including community consultation workshop, will be communicated as work progresses. See the News and Events section for the latest information.


The Upper Beaver project has a long mineral exploration and development history. Gold was first discovered west of Beaverhouse Lake in 1912. Upper Beaver was mined intermittently between 1912 and 1971, producing approximately 140,000 ounces of gold and 12 million pounds of copper over this period under the names: La Mine d’Or Huronia (1912 – 1919); Argonaut Gold Mines Limited (1919-1928); and Upper Beaver Gold Mines (1965 – 1971).

Agnico Eagle acquired 100% ownership of the Upper Beaver and Kirkland Lake exploration properties in March 2018.

For detailed information on geology and mineralization of Agnico Eagle’s Kirkland Lake exploration properties, visit Agnico Eagle’s website.

Did You Know?

Agnico Eagle’s history is closely tied to northern Ontario. Our company got its start in Cobalt, with the creation of the Cobalt Consolidated Mining Company in 1953, which later became Agnico Eagle Mines Limited. While our mining activities in Cobalt ceased in 1989, we continue to monitor and maintain our previous sites and properties in the Cobalt area.

Upper Beaver Project

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