LME students trek to Kirkland Lake for gold mine tour

Lassonde Mineral Engineering students travel to Kirkland Lake, Ont. to delve into mining

A group photo in front of the sign for Agnico Eagle’s Macassa Mine at Kirkland Lake, Ontario on Friday, March 24, 2023. The tour of Lassonde Mineral Engineering Students from the Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering at the University of Toronto saw visits to three sites – mine shaft, portal and mill.
(Photo by Phill Snel / Department of Civil & Mineral Engineering, University of Toronto)

A road trip to Agnico Eagle’s Macassa Mine site in Kirkland Lake, Ont. allowed Lassonde Mineral Engineering students the chance to visit one of three operational areas on Friday, March 24. The 21 LME students, accompanied by Professor Kamran Esmaeili and TA Sarah Kumar (MinE 2T1, MASc candidate), took in either the deep mine (shaft), the portal or the mill.

The gold mine, in operation for 90 years, recently celebrated the milestone of pouring six million ounces of gold. The product produced on site is known as doré bars, a semi-pure alloy of gold and silver, which is then transported to a refinery for further purification.

Throughout the tours, several employees took the time to explain their particular roles and processes involved. The trip, the first underground tour since the pandemic, is a morale booster for students; more similar trips are planned for the future.

Hosts included three CivMin alumni: William Tai (MinE 9T9 + PEY), Mariana Pinheiro-Harvey (MinE 1T2) and Dawson Boulley (MinE 2T2).  Alec Gilvesy (Year 4 MinE), who worked at the site for his PEY, acted as chief organizer of the excursion.

More to come…