January 26, 2010 / 3:41 PM / 8 years ago

Yamana sees production from Ernesto project in late 2012

* Construction of Ernesto project to begin in mid-2010

* Sees annual production of about 1.5 mln ounces by 2013

Jan 26 (Reuters) - Canadian gold producer Yamana Gold Inc YRI.TO said the construction of its Ernesto/Pau-a-pique project in Brazil is expected to begin in mid-2010, with production commencing in late 2012.

Yamana said the Ernesto/Pau-a-pique project has an initial mine life of about seven years with current mineral reserves of 710,000 ounces of gold.

The company expects its Agua Rica project in Argentina to produce about 12.5 million tonnes of copper/gold concentrate and 357,750 tonnes of molybdenum concentrate over a 26.5 year mine life.

Yamana, which has four development stage projects including two in Brazil and one each in Mexico and Chile, said these four projects are expected to contribute 410,000 gold equivalent ounces (GEO) annually, with production expected to be about 1.3 million GEO in 2012.

With these new mines, Yamana expects an annualized production rate of about 1.5 million GEO by the beginning of 2013.

Yamana Gold shares were up 16 Canadian cents at C$11.31 Tuesday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by R. Manikandan in Bangalore; Editing by Ratul Ray Chaudhuri)

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