* Raises grade and estimated size of its gold resources
* Plans to accelerate the pace of its drilling program
TORONTO, July 14 (Reuters) - Canada’s Kirkland Lake KGI.TO raised the grade and estimated size of its gold resources at its properties in northern Ontario.
The company, which owns five former gold mines, raised the measured and indicated resources on its properties on Wednesday by 28 percent to more than 1.26 million ounces, with much of the gains coming from a new zone called the South Mine Complex.
Kirkland Lake has set aside a C$7.1 million exploration budget for fiscal 2011 as it continues to accelerate the pace of its drilling program.
The company said it planned to report reserves and resources on a calendar- rather than fiscal-year basis. ($1= $1.03 Canadian) (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)