Yamana Gold to invest $450 million in Argentina's Cerro Moro

Yamana Gold to invest $450 million in Argentina's Cerro MoroUnlike its debt-ridden fellow Canadian gold miners, Yamana Gold (TSX:YRI)(NYSE:AUY) is going ahead with ambitious expansion plans, such as the construction of its Cerro Moro gold and silver project, located in the southern Argentine province of Santa Cruz.

According to Minería en Linea (in Spanish), the Toronto-based company will invest an initial $450 million to develop Cerro Moro, which acquired last year, as part of the takeover of  fellow Canadian junior miner Extorre. 

Yamana Gold to invest $450 million in Argentina's Cerro MoroAt the time of the transaction, Extorre had established indicated resources of 2.43 million tonnes grading 7.4 grams gold and 498.8 grams silver for 1.4 million gold equivalent ounces and inferred resources of 4.75 million tonnes grading 3.5 grams gold and 172 grams silver for 1.05 million gold equivalent ounces.

Yamana managed to bolster resources in the indicated category by 44% as per February this year.

Construction at the project, envisioned as a combined open pit and underground operation, is expected to start early next year, with production slated to begin in late 2015, creating 1,000 direct and indirect jobs.

Yamana already operates the Gualcamayo gold mine in the San Juan province and holds a 12.5% stake in the Alumbrera gold and copper mine in Catamarca province. Glencore Xstrata (LON: GLEN) owns 50% of Alumbrera and Goldcorp (TSX: G) has a 37.5%

The Canadian miner also operates in Brazil, Chile, Mexico and Colombia.

Image of Santa Cruz by Nestor Galina