Good evening, everyone.
At present, the mining industry is contributing substantially to Canada's economic growth. As you may have noticed, our industry is not especially thriving at present. Prices of metals have fallen across the board.
To answer your question, what we are proposing is to combine the efforts of all mining companies so we can acquire a better lever. Various mining companies are currently investing millions of dollars in various initiatives, some of which overlap. Rather than letting the various mining companies each spend $1 million, we want to get them to stop competing among themselves on the details and combine their efforts, through the Canada Mining Innovation Council, and thus bring mining technology up to the level where it should be.
If we compare ourselves to other industries, the mining industry is 30 years behind. In comparison to the aviation and automotive industries, we are behind. There are a lot of gains to make in this regard and good potential for Canada.
I am wearing two hats here: as president of the CMIC board of directors and as a senior executive of Agnico Eagle, which is a Canadian company. Last year, Agnico Eagle celebrated 60 years in the market. Agnico Eagle is a very well-known producer in the gold sector.
Agnico Eagle has a development strategy for mining platforms. We have developed a platform in Quebec. We have several mines in Quebec and we produce more than 800,000 ounces of gold per year. To be honest, we had to write off $1 billion from our balance sheets after our investments. We are staying in Nunavut; we have more development projects and we are there to stay for several decades.
Now, to address innovation, I will take the example of Nunavut where there is a lack of infrastructure. We use diesel to fuel our plants and that is also what the communities in Nunavut, and probably also communities in other remote regions, use to fuel their outmoded facilities.
The Meadowbrook mine alone employs 400 Inuit contractors and employees, directly and indirectly. We have Inuit people in our employ who started in the company as caretakers and now work as operators.