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Agnico considering early stage acquisitions to grow Mexico business

Bnamericas Published: Thursday, May 15, 2014

Agnico Eagle Mines (NYSE: AEM) is considering M&A to further expand Mexican mining production, CEO Sean Boyd said.

The Toronto-based company, which is already expecting steep organic growth from its Pinos Altos, Crestón Mascota and La India mines, aims to bring its expertise to bear in developing earlier stage projects, Boyd told the Bank of America Merrill Lynch Global Metals, Mining and Steel Conference in Miami.

In addition to the availability of smaller scale M&A targets, Mexico also offers much quicker permitting than many jurisdictions and lower costs, and the country is "clearly a focus for us going forward," Boyd added.

The company developed La India in Sonora state from a resource to a producing mine in 22 months, including permitting, land rights and construction, he said, while the Pinos Altos gold-silver operation in Chihuahua state is the "anchor" of Mexican operations, offering steady, low cost output.

Pinos Altos is expected to produce 161,000oz gold in 2015, with an additional 55,000oz from the Crestón Mascota satellite operation, with La India expected to contribute 50,000oz this year and 81,000oz next year, bringing 2015 Mexican output to 297,000oz, compared to 218,980oz in 2013.

Agnico also has operations in Canada and Finland, and is a partner in a joint offer with Yamana Gold (TSX: YRI, NYSE: AUY) to acquire Osisko Mining (TSX: OSK), which has the Malartic gold mine in Canada and more than 1Mha land in Mexico's Guerrero gold belt.

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