Geology Superintendent – Meliadine Mine, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.
Jean-Claude Blais is the Geology Superintendent at Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd.’s Meliadine mine located in Nunavut, Canada. Jean-Claude has been with Agnico Eagle since 2007, working on many of the company’s projects and mines located in Quebec, Nunavut, Finland and Mexico. He has occupied various geology roles ranging from project, resource evaluation, production, and exploration progressing through to his current position at Meliadine. He has been working for over 12 years in the Nunavut Territory.
In 2009, Jean-Claude was part of Agnico Eagle’s Technical Services team that evaluated the Meliadine project. This evaluation eventually led to the acquisition of Meliadine by the company. In 2013, he then joined the Exploration team responsible for a significant increase in Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources of over 88% since purchase of the project. During this time, he led the team of geologists responsible for the development, early delineation and conversion diamond drilling programs, establishing the grade control mapping and sampling activities, and most importantly increasing the geological understanding of the deposit prior to production mining.
Jean-Claude now manages a rapidly growing team of over 25 geologists and geology technicians responsible for mine site exploration, conversion and delineation diamond drilling campaigns with 8 diamond drills, underground and future open pit production activities, and resource evaluation of the project. He is a Professional Geologist (registered in both Northwest Territories & Nunavut and Quebec) and holds a Bachelor in Resource Geology from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).
As of December 31, 2018, Meliadine was Agnico Eagle’s largest gold deposit in terms of mineral resources with estimated totals of 3.8 Moz Au Proven&Probable Mineral Reserves, 3.2 Moz Au Measured&Indicated Mineral Resources, and 2.6 Moz Au Inferred Mineral Resources. The Company anticipates that mining at Meliadine will be carried out through several underground mining operations and open pits over a 14-year mine life. Meliadine includes seven gold deposits, six of which are part of the current mine plan. In February 2017, the Company approved construction of the project. Construction and commissioning were completed earlier than scheduled and under budget. The plant poured its first gold bar on February 21st, 2019 and commercial production was achieved mid-May 2019. Equally important, regional and mine site exploration have re-started during late-2017 leveraging the geological model developed by Agnico Eagle’s technical team since acquisition.