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Workers are seen at Yamana's Minera Florida mine in Chile.VICTOR RUIZ CABALLERO

It's been quite the month for shareholders of gold mining companies. On Wednesday, Yamana Gold Inc. became the latest gold player to bump its dividend, increasing it by 33 per cent over last quarter. The annualized payout is now 8 cents (U.S.) per share, or 2 cents a quarter.

That's a 100 per cent increase, or doubling, over 2009's four cent annual dividend.

The trend started last week when Barrick hiked its dividend by 20 per cent to 12 cents quarterly. On Wednesday, a day earlier, Newmont Mining Corp. boosted its payout 50 per cent to 15 cents a quarter.

Not all companies are jumping on the bandwagon. Kinross Gold Corp. declared a 5 cent semi-annual dividend this week, the same rate it has paid since September of last year. That might be a good thing, considering the firm has a $7.1-billion takeover to fund.

And even with the higher payouts, dividend yields remain low. Yamana's is just under 1 per cent and Barrick's is 1.1 per cent.

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