Precious metals miner Yamana Gold is considering several expansion opportunities at its mines, including a $100-million expansion in Brazil that will add about 80 000 oz/y to its production.
With more financial flexibility following the $1-billion sale agreement of Brazil-based Chapada to Lundin Mining, Yamana is considering a two-phase expansion at the Jacobina mine, the first phase of which involves a mill optimisation to increase capacity to 6 500 t/d.
This phase would require “very modest” capital and would be implemented by the middle of next year, the TSX-listed miner reported in its first-quarter results announcement on Wednesday.
The larger Phase 2 expansion of $100-million would increase plant capacity to between 8 000 t/d and 8 500 t/d, pushing up production to 225 000 oz/y by 2022 the company said.
At Canadian Malartic, in Canada, Yamana is evaluating production increases of about 75 000 gold-equivalent ounces (GEOs), based on its 50% interest. Project costs and economics are currently under evaluation.
“These opportunities, including those for other mines, are expected at total costs lower than the previous plans for Chapada,” Yamana stressed.
Meanwhile, the gold miner exceeded its production expectations for the first-quarter with output of 271 987 GEOs, thanks to a 12% year-on-year increase at Jacobina, 6% at Minera Florida, in Chile, and continued strong contributions from Cerro Moro, Argentina.
Total gold production increased from 199 555 oz in the first quarter of 2018, to 235 958 oz in the quarter under review. Silver production jumped from 899 261 oz to 3.02-million ounces in the same period.
Yamana’s copper production was 28.1-million pounds in the three-month period.
First-quarter all-in sustaining costs, on a by-product basis, were $865/GEO, cash costs were $526/GEO and total cost of sales were $1 098/oz.
The group’s net loss from operations attributable to Yamana equity holders was $4.1-million, or $0.00 a share basic and diluted, including certain non-cash and other items that reduced earnings by $28.1-million, or $0.03 a share. Adjusted earnings were $24-million, or $0.02 a share.