December 16, 2010 / 3:15 PM / in 7 years

Agnico-Eagle raises dividend; outlines growth plans

* Raises dividend payout to $0.64/shr a year from $0.18

* Sees gold output of 1.13 mln to 1.23 mln oz in 2011 (In U.S. dollars unless noted)

TORONTO, Dec 16 (Reuters) - Gold miner Agnico-Eagle (AEM.N) outlined plans to raise gold production over the next five years and said its board has approved a sharp dividend increase.

Toronto-based Agnico said it will start paying a quarterly dividend of 16 cents a share instead of the current annual payout of 18 cents a year. The first payout will be made on March 15 to shareholders of record as of March 1, the company said in a statement late on Wednesday.

The company said it expects payable gold production to rise about 18 percent in 2011 to between 1.13 million ounces and 1.23 million ounces, with total cash costs expected to be in the range of $420 to $470 an ounce.

Agnico also said it expects to produce an average of 1.36 million ounces of gold annually between 2012 and 2015 with total cash costs averaging $432 per ounce.

Shares of Agnico were down about 3 percent in early trade on both the Toronto Stock Exchange and the New York Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Euan Rocha; editing by Peter Galloway)

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