Yamana Gold earnings beat expectations, eyes asset sales

Reuters

(Recasts with more financial details, company comment)

July 30 (Reuters) - Yamana Gold reported higher-than-expected second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, helped by higher production and lower costs.

Yamana Chief Executive Peter Marrone said in a statement the miner would look at "strategic alternatives" for operations that are underperforming, as well as at assets that could provide more value through a sale.

The Canadian-based gold miner said earnings were $5.1 million, or 1 cent a share, in the quarter, compared with a net loss of $7.9 million, or 1 cent a share, in the same quarter a year earlier.

Adjusted earnings came in at $43.3 million, or 5 cents a share, down from $50.2 million, or 7 cents a share, in the second quarter of 2013.

But the earnings beat analysts' estimates of 4 cents a share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

Canada's Globe and Mail newspaper, quoting unnamed sources, reported in June that Yamana had put its three mines in Brazil up for sale at the beginning of the year. The Chapada, Jacobina and Fazenda Brasileiro mines are nearing the end of their lives and have faced a number of problems.

Yamana said it produced 331,765 ounces of gold equivalent ounces in the second quarter from its mines in South America, Mexico and Canada, up from 295,545 ounces in the same period in 2013. Gold equivalent ounces are calculated using gold output plus the gold equivalent of silver using a ratio of 50:1.

Yamana's all-in sustaining costs per gold equivalent ounce fell to $915 an ounce on a co-product basis in the quarter, from $950 per ounce in the same quarter a year ago.

Yamana earlier this year triumphed in its joint bid for Canadian-based Osisko Mining Corp, which owns the mid-sized, low-cost Canadian Malartic gold mine in Quebec. Yamana's C$3.9 billion white-knight bid for Osisko, in concert with partner Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd, topped a bid for Osisko from another Canadian gold miner Goldcorp Inc..

(Reporting by Nicole Mordant in Vancouver; Editing by David Gregorio)

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