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Exploration is the lifeblood of mining through the discovery of new ounces. The Company’s exploration programs continue to deliver on the discovery of mineral resources and mineral reserves.

In 2019 the Company’s exploration program successfully replaced gold mineral reserve depletion on a consolidated basis, excluding assets sold. Measured and indicated gold mineral resources also increased year over year, while inferred mineral resources showed a substantial 27% increase from year-end 2018.

Exploration on the most prospective properties is a key to unlocking and creating value for shareholders. The 2019 exploration program focused on finding higher quality ounces, improving mine grade, infill drilling to replace production by upgrading existing mineral resources, and exploring the Yamana property portfolio as well as several joint venture opportunities.

Exploration Highlights*

  • Jacobina:  Jacobina increased gold mineral reserves by 19% over and above 2019 production depletion, based on updated models from Morro do Vento, João Belo, Canavieiras South, Canavieiras Central and Serra do Córrego mines. The conversion of measured and indicated mineral resources to mineral reserves is partially responsible for a modest decrease in gold measured and indicated mineral resources. Inferred mineral resources increased by 398,000 ounces of gold, a 39% increase from year end 2018.

    In the exploration update provided in the third quarter of 2019, the Company announced increases to mineral reserves and mineral reserve grades at Jacobina of 8.6% and 2.6%, respectively, versus year-end 2018, which added to overall mineral reserve grade growth in 2018, which when combined with the mid-year update, represents a 5.3% increase from year-end 2017.

    At year end, the Company further increased mineral reserves by 22%, or 490,000 ounces, from the mid-year update. Such increase is related to mineral reserves with a lower average grade of 1.41 g/t. The Company anticipates that it would defer mining of these low grade reserves until late in the mine life, and instead mining and processing would be in association with the mineral reserves at a grade of 2.40 grams per tonne.
  • El Peñón: El Peñón's mineral reserves both replaced 2019 depletion and further increased such mineral reserves by 15% and 21% for gold and silver, respectively, as the result of positive infill drilling and mine design optimization. It is the third consecutive year that El Peñón has replaced mineral reserves above and beyond depletion. Gold measured and indicated mineral resources increased by 66%, while silver increased by 70% compared to the prior year, due to the positive exploration results from numerous secondary vein structures in the east mine and adjustments to the mineral resource classification criteria. Lower gold and silver inferred mineral resources reflect the conversion to indicated mineral resources.[In a recent exploration update, the Company indicated that new structural interpretations of faulting of the mine’s Deep Orito vein helping to define new high grade mineralization. The use of machine learning technology to improve exploration targeting is also yielding meaningful increases in mineral resource inventory.
  • Canadian Malartic:  Gold mineral reserves reflect depletion associated with 2019 production at Canadian Malartic. The objective of the 2019 exploration program at Canadian Malartic was to define and increase underground mineral resources, with a focus on Odyssey, East Malartic, and the newly discovered East Gouldie zone. The drilling performed, particularly at East Malartic and East Gouldie, resulted in a 111% increase in inferred mineral resources. At East Malartic, mineral resources below 1,000 metres in depth were reported for the first time. At East Gouldie, inferred mineral resources are relatively high grade at 3.34 grams per tonne diluted. On a 100% basis, the overall underground project has increased by more than 5,000,000 ounces of inferred mineral resources, significantly improving the economic potential of the project. Additional exploration in these areas is planned for 2020.
  • Minera Florida: At Minera Florida, the increase in mineral reserves reflects an increase due to positive drilling results at Pataguas, Don Leopoldo, Fantasma and PVO Sur, amongst others, and block model revisions. These increases were partially offset by mine depletion. Mineral resources remained relatively unchanged as infill drilling resulted in conversion from inferred mineral resources to measured and indicated mineral resources. Other changes to calculation parameters also had the impact of modestly decreasing inferred mineral resources, which was partially offset by new discoveries. 
  • Cerro Moro:  Mineral reserves changed due to 2019 depletion, and, given the Company’s expanded experience with mining Cerro Moro ore bodies over the past year and a half, the Company was able to further refine its geological understanding and incorporate that understanding into the geological model, improving model predictability. Inferred mineral resources increased by 29% and 10% for gold and silver, respectively, compared to the prior year, from the addition of promising new structures. The main increases came from the new Naty discovery, and Agostina. The structures of Naty, Michelle Extension, Martina, Tres Lomas, Deborah Link and other zones are expected to undergo further drilling in 2020, as part of the aggressive exploration budget allocation to the mine.

  • Agua Rica: At Agua Rica, proven and probable gold mineral reserves increased by 13% to 7.4 million ounces, while proven and probable copper mineral reserves increased from year end 2018 by 21% to 11.8 billion pounds. Mineral resources decreased marginally on the conversion of ounces to mineral reserve

$68.3M total exploration spend in 2019


  • Yamana believes that it is important to invest prudently and responsibly today to lay the foundation for the Yamana mines of tomorrow. To that end, a generative exploration program is in progress to advance several highly prospective opportunities in the Company's existing portfolio. The key objectives of the program are as follows:
    • Target the Company’s most advanced exploration projects while retaining the flexibility to prioritize other projects in the portfolio as and when merited by drill results.
    • Advance one or more projects to an inferred mineral resource of at least 1.5 million ounces of gold within the next three years.
    • On a long-term basis, advance at least one project to a mineral inventory that is large enough to support a mine with annual gold production of approximately 150,000 ounces for at least eight years.
    • Advance both gold-only and copper-gold projects and, in the latter case, consider joint venture agreements aimed at increasing mineral resource and advancing the project to development while Yamana maintains an economic interest in the project.
    For additional details, please see the Company press release issued February 20, 2020 titled: ‘Yamana Gold Provides Update on its Generative Exploration Program.’

    Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results at Lavra Velha
    Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results for the São Francisco target
    Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results at Ivolandia
    Download a PDF of detailed drill hole results at Domain


* Please refer to Mineral Reserves & Resources for complete information relating to mineral reserves and mineral resources indicating tonnage and grade for the various mines and projects.



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Yamana discloses certain non-GAAP measures including Cash costs per ounce of gold, Cash costs per ounce of silver, Co-product cash costs per ounce of gold, Co-product cash costs per ounce of silver, Co-product cash costs per pound of copper, All-in sustaining costs per ounce of gold, All-in sustaining costs per ounce of silver, All-in sustaining co-product costs per ounce of gold, and All-in sustaining co-product costs per ounce of silver to supplement its Consolidated Financial Statements, which are presented in accordance with IFRS. The term IFRS and generally accepted accounting principles (“GAAP”) are used interchangeably. The Company believes that these measures, together with measures determined in accordance with IFRS, provide investors with an improved ability to evaluate the underlying performance of the Company. Non-GAAP measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS, and therefore they may not be comparable to similar measures employed by other companies. The data is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS.

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