Yamana Gold provides 2011 exploration update

YAMANA GOLD INC. (TSX:YRI) (NYSE:AUY) (LSE:YAU) (“Yamana” or “the Company”) today announced mid-year highlights from its 2011 exploration program at existing operations, development projects and a new discovery, Arco Sul in Brazil.

2011 Exploration Highlights:
El Peñón, Chile - The further delineation of the sub-parallel Victoria vein system, within the Pampa Augusta Victoria vein system, with some significant near surface gold and silver values. TheVictoria vein system is now described as a near surface, oxidized, high grade core of mineralization occurring over 400 metres along strike and 100 metres down dip and remains open along strike and down dip.

Chapada, Brazil - Significant gold and copper mineralization has been discovered at Corpo Sul, southwest of and on strike with the main Chapada pit, and the previously discovered Suruca deposit to the northeast of the pit. Copper and gold mineralization has now been identified at Chapada along a strike length of almost 12 kilometres.

Jacobina, Brazil -The continued confirmation of grades that are higher than the current mineral reserve grade of 2.5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.

Mercedes, Mexico - The continued confirmation of higher than average grades at Lagunas Norte and significant widths at Diluvio which are expected to increase mineral resources.

Pilar, Brazil - The extension of mineralization, opening up exploration potential towards Tres Buracos to the north for over 2.0 kilometres, as well as the extension of mineralization for 2.6 kilometres down dip of the current resource. These extensions are expected to rapidly add further mineral resource growth at the project.

Fazenda Nova, Brazil - A new discovery, Arco Sul, located just south of the decommissioned Fazenda Nova mine in Goiás State, Brazil. To date, drilling has delineated high grade gold values along almost one kilometre of strike length.

The Company’s exploration budget was increased by approximately 25% to $105 million which was announced in May, 2011.  This increase partially resulted from the significant cash flow being generated by the Company and the success of the 2010 program as well as the success already achieved in 2011.

Exploration will continue to focus on mineral resource discovery and development as well as mineral reserve growth at existing operations, development projects and on new discoveries to continue developing the Company’s project pipeline.   A total of 420,000 metres of drilling at 20 projects will be completed as part of the 2011 program.

Existing Operations
El Peñón, Chile

The high grade underground gold-silver El Peñón mine is located in northern Chile, 160 kilometres southeast of Antofagasta. The 2010 regional exploration program at El Peñón led to the discovery of a new vein system located 30 kilometres to the northeast, Pampa Augusta Victoria (PAV).  To date three sub-parallel vein systems have been identified within PAV: Victoria, Victoria Este and most recently Elizabeth.

During 2011 approximately $4.5 million of the total $25 million in exploration spending at El Peñón will be focused on PAV with the objective of completing an initial mineral reserve and mineral resource estimate. The majority of the drilling is being completed on the Victoria vein, which, to date, has returned significant near surface gold and silver values.

The Victoria vein system can now be described as a near surface, high grade core of mineralization that has been traced along a strike length of over 400 metres and to a vertical depth of at least 100 metres from the surface at 1,750 metres elevation to 1,625 metres elevation. The mineralization remains open along strike and down dip. The near surface, highly oxidized nature of this mineralization will facilitate rapid low cost development and recoveries which should be in the range of the original near surface mineralization at El Peñón (approximately 95 percent for gold and 90 percent for silver).

Exploration drilling will continue throughout 2011 to further extend mineralization at Victoria both along strike and down dip and will also expand and confirm the resource potential of the Victoria Este and Elizabeth veins.

Chapada, Brazil

The Chapada open pit gold-copper mine is located northwest of Brasilia in Goias State. The $4.7 million2011 exploration program that includes 23,000 metres of diamond drilling will principally target the southern extension of the Chapada pit at Corpo Sul and the southern extension at Suruca, a satellite deposit that is located six kilometres northeast of Chapada.

Past shallow surface drilling at Corpo Sul had identified several small, oxide gold occurrences along strike of the known ore body currently being mined. Early results from current diamond drilling completed beneath the oxide zones have returned very encouraging gold/copper values from sulphide mineralization that indicates the Chapada ore body continues to the southwest. Results have been received from seven drill holes, three located immediately adjacent to the Chapada open pit (NM series holes) and four located approximately 1.7 kilometres further along strike to the southwest (CS series holes). All of the holes have returned mineralization similar in grade and composition to that currently being mined.

Source: PR Newswire

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