January 30, 2012 / 4:38 PM / 6 years ago

UPDATE 1-Semafo expects higher cost in 2012

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Jan 30 (Reuters) - Canada's Semafo Inc's forecast a 2012 gold production range, the mid-point of which was slightly below its output last year, and the gold miner expects cash cost to rise this year.

Montreal, Quebec-based Semafo expects gold production in 2012 to be 235,000 ounces to 260,000 ounces.

Earlier in the month, the company said its 2011 production totaled 250,100 ounces of gold.

Exploration budget for 2012 is expected to be $45 million, hugher than the $39 million it had set in 2011. About 80 percent of this will go to its flagship property Mana, Semafo said.

The company said its Mana property is expected to produce about 75 percent of the total gold output.

Cash operating cost for 2012 has been set between $700 and $750 per ounce, Semafo said. In 2011, cash operating cost was anticipated to be between $595 and $645 per ounce.

For 2012, Semafo expects total capital expenditures of $195 million.

Semafo said it remains "extremely profitable" and expects to continue to benefit from considerable cash margins in 2012.

Shares of the company were down 7 percent at C$7.45 in late morning trade on Monday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Ankur Banerjee in Bangalore; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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