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What Extensions Could Yamana’s Chapada Exploration Provide?

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Sep. 9 2016, Updated 12:04 p.m. ET

Chapada mine

Yamana Gold’s (AUY) Chapada mine is an open pit gold-copper mine located in Northwest Brasilia, Brazil. It has been operational since 2007 and is producing gold and copper concentrate at an annual production range of 105,000–150,000 ounces of gold. It contributes ~9% of Yamana’s total gold production. Chapada is a low-cost mine in Yamana’s portfolio.

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Extending current opportunities

Yamana had earmarked $6 million for its 2016 exploration budget to find ways to sustain and improve the current production levels. Previously, the company had envisaged a larger system of mineralization at Chapada. With the continuing successful exploration results, the growth potential at Chapada seems to be real. The company had identified a gold and copper mineralization along a 15-kilometer trend from its Santa Cruz mine in the Southwest through the Chapada mine complex to Suruca in the Northeast. According to the company, its drilling efforts at Sucupira are returning some of the highest gold and copper intersections discovered at the Chapada property.

New discoveries

Through exploration, Yamana is developing the mineral resource potential at the newly discovered Formiga deposit and is testing other highly prospective targets. In addition to this, the company’s mineral resource expansion drilling at Suruca could also support production for the near surface oxide-only gold deposit.

During its latest quarterly results, peer Newmont Mining (NEM) reported that its Tanami expansion could provide it with near-term production growth options. Kinross Gold (KGC) has also announced it will go ahead with its Tasiast Phase One expansion.

To get exposure to gold prices, investors can invest in gold-backed ETFs like the SPDR Gold Shares ETF (GLD) and the iShares Gold Trust ETF (IAU).

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