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Yamana Gold ups production targets after find in Quebec

Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI) (NYSE, LON: AUY) expects bullion production from its Canadian mines to reach 500,000 ounces a year by 2028 after exploration at its development-stage Wasamac project in Quebec unveiled “significant” new mineralized zones.

The Canadian bullion miner said the discovery of a new shear zone and continued exploration success at Wasamac support a higher production plan of 200,000 ounces per year over a mine life of at least 15 years.

The figure contrasts with the approved development plan of 169,000 ounces annual average over 10 years for the underground project, located 100 km west of Yamana’s 50%-owned Malartic operation, which is Canada’s biggest gold mine.

The Toronto-based company said it was experiencing similar success at its other projects.

At Odyssey, an underground project that will extend Malartic’s life ten years to 2039, the company sees potential for higher production than the currently contemplated average of 545,000 ounces a year from 2029 onwards. Based on ongoing exploration results, Yamana believes the mine life could be extended beyond 2039.

“Exploration is continuing to deliver exciting results at Odyssey and we believe that exploration success, in time, will allow the partnership (with Agnico Eagle) to take advantage of the excess plant capacity in order to maximise underground production above currently planned levels,” president and CEO Daniel Racine said in the statement.

He noted that the possible addition of a second shaft and further production from upper ore bodies accessed by ramp were additional opportunities that merited continuing investigation and assessment.

South America growth

At its Jacobina gold mine in Brazil, Yamana said the second phase expansion was progressing ahead of schedule, with permitting expected to be completed in early 2022. Once it production, Jacobina would yield 230,000 ounces of gold a year for “multi-decades” at low cost and high cash flow, the company said.

At Minera Florida, in Chile, Yamana has already submitted and with expected the environmental and social impact assessment for the project. Based on expected permitting timelines, the mine could begin operations by 2025 producing 120,000 ounces of gold a year.

The project, in Central Chile, is one of the two Yamana added to its portfolio after the acquisition of  Meridian Gold in 2007. The other one is the El Peñón silver-gold mine, located in the country’s Atacama Desert.

Yamana also owns the Cerro Moro gold-silver operation in Argentina, which began production in 2018, making it the company’s newest mine.

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