January 20, 2011 / 11:06 PM / in 7 years

UPDATE 1-North American Palladium sees higher 2011 production

* Sees palladium production 165,000-175,000

* Sets capex of C$147 for LDI mine expansion

Jan 20 (Reuters) - Canadian precious metals company North American Palladium Ltd PDL.TO expects higher palladium production in 2011, and said it plans to expand its flagship Lac des Iles (LDI) mine in Quebec.

The company expects payable palladium production from LDI to increase to between 165,000-175,000 ounces in 2011, up from 95,100 ounces it produced in 2010.

The Toronto-based company added that it expects capital expenditures of C$147 million on the LDI mine expansion this year.

Over the next two years, the company plans to become a mid-tier precious metals producer by significantly increasing its palladium and gold production.

“During this transition period (the next two years), we will invest over a quarter of a billion dollars in our mine expansions, exploration, and the development of our gold properties,” Chief Executive William Biggar said in a statement.

CEO Biggar added that he expects to see continued improvement in 2011 as the company plans to increase its palladium production by about 75 percent.

The company also plans to increase revenue from its Sleeping Giant gold mine located in Quebec while advancing its gold division through mill expansion, and development of the Vezza gold project in the Abitibi region.

Shares of the company, which have since gained 35 percent in value since reporting third-quarter results in November, closed at C$7.30 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Isheeta Sanghi in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy) ((isheeta.sanghi@thomsonreuters.com; within U.S. +1 646 223 8780; outside U.S. +91 80 4135 5800; Reuters Messaging: isheeta.sanghi.thomsonreuters.com@reuters.net))

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