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Early stage acquisitions remain Agnico Eagle Mines' priority on the M&A front, despite a challenging market, CEO Sean Boyd said.
"We have been able to create a lot of net asset value per share by identifying opportunities early," Boyd told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch 35th Annual Global Metals, Mining & Steel Conference in Barcelona, Spain.
"Clearly there are too many companies relative to the number of high quality opportunities that exist out there," he added. "It is getting more challenging. That's why there is not a lot of growth in this industry."
Agnico's approach continues to be to identify opportunities at an early stage in areas where it can become a dominant player and create value over time, Boyd told the event.
Agnico, Mexico's fourth biggest gold producer, with assets in Canada and Sweden, aims to increase annual production to 2.0Moz by 2020, up from 1.66Moz in 2016, with growth from existing assets, the CEO added.
Beyond 2020, further growth is expected to come from other properties within its portfolio, possibly including the El Barqueño project in Mexico, where drilling is under way.
"We are at a level where it just makes sense to continue to grow at a very measured pace, and our growth is from properties we already own," Boyd said.