Ticker: NYSE: AUY
Project Stage: Exploration, Development Production
Commodities: Gold, Silver
Location: Canada

Yamana Gold Inc. is a Canadian company that owns and operates gold, silver and copper mines in Canada, Chile, Brazil and Argentina. Headquartered in Toronto, the company was founded in 1994 and became listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 1995 and on the New York Stock Exchange in 2007. The company became a gold producer after its 2003 re-restructuring in which Peter Marrone took over as Chief Executive Officer and it merged with Brazilian company Santa Elina Mines Corporation. The combined company was able to use Yamana’s access to capital with Santa Elina development properties to bring the Chapada mine into production. From there the company combined with other TSX-listed companies RNC Gold, Desert Sun Mining, Viceroy Exploration, Northern Orion Resources, Meridian Gold, Osisko Mining and Extorre Gold Mines which each contributed either a producing mine or a development project that was able to come into commercial production.

The company was able to produce over 1 million ounces of gold per year between 2009 and 2016 until it spun off Brio Gold as a separate company with several of its Brazilian assets.[3] With the company facing criticism for its executive compensation packages and debt load, Daniel Racine replaced Marrone as CEO in 2018[4] and the company sold its Chapada and Gualcamayo mines.

Corporate history

Minera Yamana was founded on March 19, 1994, headquartered in Toronto and headed by Victor Bradley as Chief Executive Officer (CEO), as a mineral exploration company focused on properties within Argentina. The private company went public, effective February 7, 1995, through a reverse takeover of Toronto Stock Exchange-listed of Wiscan Resources Inc. with the combined company emerging with the new name Yamana Resources Inc. The company acquired and assessed numerous mineral properties in South America and Indonesia until 2000 when it settled on developing a silver mine in Santa Cruz Province, Argentina. However, the company was unable to manage the development phase and was forced to sell the property in April 2002 to avoid bankruptcy.

The company restructured in July-August 2003 with its new CEO, Peter Marrone. In addition to changing its name to Yamana Gold, incorporating a subsidiary in the British Virgin Islands, and consolidating its stock on a 28:1 basis, the company was joined by the Brazilian company Santa Elina Mines Corporation. In exchange for stock ownership in Yamana Gold, Santa Elina ownership of the Fazenda Nova, São Francisco, and Chapada development projects were transferred to Yamana. In the same month, they also purchased the aging Fazenda Brasileiro gold mine from Companhia Vale do Rio Doce, immediately making Yamana a gold producer.[5] Investment decisions to commence construction on the three Santa Elina projects were made in 2004, with the Fazenda Nova mine achieving commercial production in 2005 followed by São Francisco and Chapada mines in 2006.


Marrone continued to quickly expand the company in 2006 by merging with TSX-listed RNC Gold which owned two small gold mines in Nicaragua and had recently-acquired the San Andrés mine in Honduras,[6] and then with TSX and AMEX-listed Desert Sun Mining Corp for its Jacobina mine in Brazil,[7] and then with TSX-listed Viceroy Exploration for its Gualcamayo exploration project in Argentina.[8] Along with Northern Orion Resources, the company spent 2007 engaged in a hostile takeover of Meridian Gold. Meridian had resisted, the merger was agreed to after Yamana increased their offer to $3.5 billion (in cash and shares).[9][10] Yamana had increased their gold production numbers from 101,000 ounces of gold in 2004 to 597,304 oz in 2007, to 1,201,200 oz in 2009.

Yamana would continue to produce over a million ounces of gold each year, even though they sold the San Andrés, Sao Francisco and Sao Vicente mines to Victor Bradley’s Aura Minerals in late-2009. The Gualcamayo mine achieved production in July 2009 followed by the Mercedes mine in February 2012. In 2014, Yamana formed a joint venture with Agnico Eagle Mines Limited to make a white knight bid for Osisko Mining Corporation who was in the midst of fighting a hostile takeover by Goldcorp;[11] Yamana emerged with a 50% stake in the Canadian Malartic Corporation which would quickly surpass Meridian’s El Peñón mine as their most productive gold producer. Yamana would fall under the one million ounces of gold in 2017 as they spun off Brio Gold as a separate company with control of the Fazenda Brasileiro mine and several development projects.[12] The company’s next mine, the Cerro Moro mine in Argentina, acquired as a development project in Yamana’s 2012 acquisition of Extorre Gold Mines, began production in 2018.[13]

By 2018, the company had accumulated a high debt load of US$1.6 billion, mostly from Canadian Malartic, and taken criticism from industry analysts and shareholders for its excessive executive compensation packages.[14] That year Daniel Racine succeeded Marrone as CEO, with Marrone staying with the company on staff and on the board, in a position titled Executive Chairman.[15] The next year, Yamana sold the Chapada copper-gold mine to Lundin Mining for $800 million[16] and its Gualcamayo mine to Colombian company Mineros S.A. for $85 million to pay down its debt.[17]

Mining operations

Along with several exploration and development properties, as of 2020, Yamana Gold operates five gold mines:

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