There is also an increased allocation of spending for greenfields exploration which will be spent to more aggressively pursue exploration efforts in new areas.
This increased exploration spending in 2011 and the following years, continues to reinforce the Company's focus on its organic growth strategy, building sustainable and reliable gold production through optimizing existing operations, expanding current, near-term and in-development production plans, developing new operations and advancing its exploration properties.
"There is sufficient evidence available to us now in support of the view that various deposits will continue to become larger. This is particularly true for Pilar and Mercedes. They merit more exploration and we are now dedicated to accelerating this effort," commented Peter Marrone, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "We are developing an expansion plan for many of our projects and mines, levering on our exploration successes. More exploration effort and spending will significantly improve these prospects. In addition, the prospectivity of El Penon cannot be denied. The best discovery is of new resources at existing mines and projects, El Penon is a core focus. Finally, we have been successful at new discoveries and resource expansions such as Pilar, Mercedes and Gualcamayo which have gone from exploration to resource expansion to development and are either in production or will soon be in production. The exploration of the sulphide zones of Fazenda Nova, at Arco Sul, is advancing very rapidly and would represent an entirely new resource and prospect for us. We are levering our growing cash balance and significant cash flow for further resource expansion and new discoveries through exploration."
Yamana will provide a detailed exploration update by mid-year.
Yamana is a Canadian-based gold producer with significant gold production, gold development stage properties, exploration properties, and land positions in Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Mexico and Colombia. Yamana plans to continue to build on this base through existing operating mine expansions, throughput increases, development of new mines, the advancement of its exploration properties and by targeting other gold consolidation opportunities with a primary focus in the Americas.
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