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Going for the gold

December 13, 2017

In 2015, Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd in Kittilä, Finland, installed the Konecranes Agilon system 350 meters beneath the surface to help improve information and order management at Europe’s largest gold production facility. Earlier in 2017, Konecranes delivered a second system. This time the new Agilon was placed overground.

Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd is one of the largest gold mining companies in the world. The Canadian gold mining company operates mines in Canada, Mexico and its European presence is represented by Finland and Finnish subsidiary Agnico Eagle Finland Oy. The mine, located in the small arctic municipality of Kittilä in Finnish Lapland, is home to Europe’s largest gold production facility. The Kittilä mine annually extracts about 1.6 million tons of ore, yielding about 6,000 kg of gold each year.

Seamless information and order management is crucial for the mine to operate successfully. Having identified the need for an intelligent, automatized system to further improve operations, the mine installed the Konecranes Agilon system, 350 meters beneath the surface. The system has been in use at the Agnico Eagle Finland Oy gold mine since November 2015.

Konecranes Agilon not only improves information and material flow, it is also valuable from a safety perspective as it stores and protects safety equipment used at the mine.  “In addition, the system automatically replenishes when component stocks are running low, which further enhances how Konecranes Agilon makes operations easier,” Tapani Tilus, VP of Agilon business at Konecranes, explains.

After the successful pilot, with Agilon functioning well underground, Konecranes delivered a second system to Kittilä in May 2017. This time, the new Agilon is located overground and is connected to the maintenance warehouse.

Photo: Shutterstock
Text: Nina Lindqvist

3 Facts

  1. Founded in 2006, Agnico Eagle Finland Oy is Canadian gold mining company Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd’s first operation outside Canada.

  2. Konecranes Agilon is a modular material inventory and management system which can be used for a wide range of businesses of different sizes and with different demands. The system has been planted 350 meters underground at Agnico Eagle’s Kittilä mine, a first for the application.

  3. Located overground, the second Agilon system has two loading stations; it has been integrated with Agnico Eagle’s Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. Users can log in to the system with their access cards, which is convenient in the restricted mine area.