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Yamana Gold chairman and CEO Peter Marrone


Yamana Gold Inc. reported a 15 per cent increase in its latest quarterly earnings, boosted by a higher price for gold and increased production.

The Toronto-based gold miner said Tuesday it earned $170-million (U.S.), or 23 cents per share, in its latest quarter, up from $148.2-million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago.

Revenue totalled $559.7-million, up from $476.1-million.

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During the quarter, Yamana produced 278,832 gold equivalent ounces, up from 267,368 a year ago, while it saw an average realized price of $1,696 per ounce, up from $1,387.

"We are particularly pleased with the performance of Mercedes, which is our newest mine and represents the first of four new mines that will begin operations into mid 2013," Yamana chairman and chief executive officer Peter Marrone said in a statement.

"We will continue to focus on dependability both in our operations and development projects and leading to strong financial performance."

Production at the Mercedes mine in Sonora, Mexico, started late last year, about six months ahead of schedule.

At Mercedes, Yamana anticipates production to be 120,000 gold equivalent ounces each year, though the company said it's looking to boost production to 130,000 ounces per year by 2013.

The company's other projects under development include the C1 Santa Luz, Pilar and Ernesto/Pau-a-Pique projects in Brazil.

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