Yamana Gold shares jump 5% on asset sale

Yamana Gold (NYSE:AUY) was the biggest beneficiary of a deal announced Friday that its partner in the giant Canadian Malartic mine is buying out the exploration assets in the joint venture.

Agnico-Eagle Mines (NYSE:AEM) agreed to acquire 100% of the Ontario and Quebec exploration assets of the JV, including the Kirkland Lake and Hammond Reef gold projects, for $162.5 million (CAD209m). The 50-50%-owned Malartic mine, Canada’s largest gold operation with 584,000 ounces of production last year, is not part of the deal.

Yamana shares jumped more than 5% on Friday affording the company a $2.9 billion value in New York. The stock is up nearly 20% during the second half of the year. Yamana expects to producer 960,000 ounces of gold this year.

Agnico Eagle also gained with shares in the Toronto-based company up 1.5%, bucking a weaker overall market on Friday. Agnico-Eagle, worth $10.5 billion in New York, in October increased its production guidance for the year from its eight mines in Finland, Canada and Mexico to 1.68m ounces.

"The purchase of the CMC asset portfolio enhances our longer-term development pipeline, and provides us with potential production growth post our current mine buildout in Nunavut," said Sean Boyd, Agnico Eagle's CEO.

"The Kirkland Lake property package enhances our current mineral reserves and offers near-term exploration upside, while the Hammond Reef project provides good optionality to a potential rise in the gold price."