Agnico-Eagle (AEM) reported first quarter numbers last week with first quarter revenues from mining operations rising to $412.1 million from $237.6 million a year ago.
Earnings per share almost doubled to $0.27 in the first quarter from $0.14 a year ago.
Cash flow from operations more than doubled to $171 million in the first quarter of 2011 from $74.5 million a year ago.
Production for the first quarter of 2011 was 252,362 ounces, up 34% from the 188,232 ounces produced a year ago.
The LaRonde mine in Northwestern Quebec produced 36,893 ounces of gold during the first quarter of 2011 at a total cash cost of negative $12 per ounce. Production and costs were down from the first quarter of 2010 due to lower quality ore being mined and higher byproduct revenues.
Goldex produced payable gold production of 38,500 ounces in the first quarter of 2011 at a total cash cost of $431 per ounce. Production was down from the first quarter of 2010 when 42,269 ounces of gold were produced at a cash cost of $375 due to lower quality grades being mined.
Gold production at Kittila reached 40,317 ounces at a total cash cost per ounce of $687 per ounce versus 24,547 ounces of gold production at a cash cost of $735 per ounce a year ago.
Lapa's gold production for the first quarter was 26,914 ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $630 per ounce, down from 31,553 ounces of gold mined during the first quarter of 2010 at a total cash cost of $489 per ounce.
The Pinos Altos mine in Mexico recorded payable gold production of 48,001 ounces of gold at a total cash cost per ounce of $312. Production was up significantly from a year ago due to the addition of the Creston Mascota heap leach mine.
Payable production at the Meadowbrook mine was 61,737 ounces of gold at a total cash cost of $943 per ounce.
On March 10, a fire started in the kitchen facilities at the Meadowbrook mine in Canada. The resulting damage caused production to be halted until a temporary kitchen facility could be constructed on site. A significant portion of the staff was removed during this period and the mill operated using lower grade ore from stockpiles.
Meadowbrook is back to full production and mine costs are expected to decrease significantly over the course of the year.
The fire had forced AEM to lower full year estimates to 1.08-1.15 million ounces with total costs rising by $25 per ounce.
The 2011 exploration program is already yielding a number of successes with high-grade mineralization found 150 meters below the current reserve envelope at Kittila, continued expansion of the D Zone at Goldex, and the potential of a satellite open pit at Meliadine.
Despite the problems at Meadowbrook AEM turned in a solid quarter. Unfortunately, the stock has been trending lower since the beginning of the year and the current climate for gold stocks is not positive.
However, should the $62.5 level hold as a support level this would be a good time to begin dollar cost averaging into a position for the long-term investor. AEM's mines are located in safe jurisdictions with little political risk.