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Makuch hands over Agnico Eagle reins

Tony Makuch. Credit: Kirkland Lake Gold

A little more than two weeks following the closure of the $10 billion merger of Agnico Eagle Mines (TSX: AEM; NYSE: AEM) and Kirkland Lake Gold, Agnico’s new CEO Tony Makuch has resigned, handing the reins to the incoming president and CEO Ammar Al-Joundi with immediate effect.

Under terms of the merger that created the world’s third-largest gold producer, Agnico Eagle CEO Sean Boyd became executive chair of the board. At the same time, Kirkland Lake Gold CEO Tony Makuch was installed as the combined company’s chief executive.

Al-Joundi brings to the table more than 20 years of experience in mining, capital markets and banking, with specialization in finance and business strategy. 

He joined Agnico Eagle as president in 2015, after serving as CFO at Agnico from September 2010 to June 2012, and as CFO and senior executive vice president at Barrick Gold Corporation (TSX: ABX; NYSE: GOLD) from July 2012 to February 2015. Before joining Agnico in 2010, he spent 11 years at Barrick.

The Northern Miner named Makuch as the title’s Mining Person of the Year for 2019.

“We built Kirkland Lake Gold by acquiring, developing and operating high-quality assets in good jurisdictions with significant exploration upside,” said Makuch in a news release.

“Just as important, we build a business based on honesty, integrity, respect for all people and support for communities. We have culminated all this with the merger of equals with Agnico Eagle, and I am very proud to have been involved in creating the third-largest global gold producer in the world,” said Makuch.

“I am leaving Agnico with a strong and dedicated leadership team, and I believe they will continue to be successful. I would like to thank the tremendous team of people at Kirkland Lake Gold for their years of hard work and support in building a truly special company.”

The reconstituted Agnico Eagle released record gold production figures for 2021 of 2.03 million ounces at all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $1,038 per ounce.

For the full year 2021, the company reported net income of $543.0 million, or $2.23 per share, compared with $511.6 million, or $2.12 per share in 2020.

The company announced 2022 production guidance of 3.2 to 3.4 million ounces at AISC of $775 per oz., maintaining these levels through to 2024.

The company sports a combined reserve base of 44.6 million ounces of gold.

Agnico’s TSX-quoted shares fell 2.86% on Thursday to C$67.83, giving it a market capitalization of C$30.8 billion ($24.19 billion).