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Canada's Yamana Gold sees Brazil mine expansion costing up to 74% less

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By Marta Nogueira

RIO DE JANEIRO, July 30 (Reuters) - Canadian miner Yamana Gold is cutting its projected expenses to expand the Jacobina complex in northeastern Brazil by up to 74%, after tests at its processing plant went better than expected, Chief Executive Peter Marrone told Reuters.

The company plans to increase its annual production capacity at the mining complex to 230,000 ounces of gold by the second half of 2023, up from 180,000 ounces currently.

Tests in its existing plant indicated it could safely handle that workload, 8,500 tonnes of raw material per day, so building a new processing facility would not be necessary, Marrone said.

"The plant is much more efficient than we initially anticipated," Marrone said in an interview.

Yamana has cut its spending plans and now forecasts expenditures of $15 million to $20 million on the expansion, down from $57 million previously, he said. Most of the expenditures will be made in 2022.

Yamana is currently the third largest gold producer in Brazil after Kinross Gold Corp and AngloGold Ashanti Ltd , according to mining lobby group Ibram. (Reporting by Marta Nogueira; Writing by Jake Spring; editing by Richard Pullin)

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