March 4 (Reuters) - Canadian gold producer Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd (AEM.TO) AEM.N said it expects its gold reserves to reach 20 million to 21 million ounces by year-end 2010 with improving drill access at several of its deposits.
The company, which plans to spend about $54 million on exploration in 2009, expects to drill about 221 kilometres, utilizing 25 drill rigs.
Toronto-based Agnico, which operates mines in Quebec and Finland, added that it spent about $72 million on exploration in 2008 and recorded an 8 percent rise in gold reserves at 18.1 million ounces.
“In 2008, we moved steadily towards our goal of 20 million ounces of gold reserves from our existing projects with the addition of 1.4 million ounces of reserves and 1.4 million ounces of resources,” Chief Executive Sean Boyd said in a statement.
Agnico-Eagle shares closed at C$62.29 Tuesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by R. Manikandan in Bangalore; editing by Vinu Pilakkot)