Yamana Gold Announces Senior Operating, Exploration and Executive Teams, New Board Appointments and Strategic Plan



    
    TSX: YRI
    NYSE:   AUY
    LSE: YAU
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 18 /CNW/ - YAMANA GOLD INC. (TSX:YRI)(NYSE:  AUY)(LSE:YAU)
today announced the completion of the initial and most important phase of its
transition and integration plan relating to the combination of Yamana,
Meridian Gold and Northern Orion and the strategic plan of the combined
company moving forward.

    
    Appointments of Management and Board of Directors

    The following is a summary of the management appointments and integration
implemented to date.

    - Appointment and promotion of new senior vice president and vice
      president positions forming the core of the executive management team
      whose members come from the Sao Paulo, Reno and Toronto offices:

    - Appointment of Darcy Marud as Senior Vice President, Exploration
      responsible for the exploration program and efforts throughout the
      Company;

    - Appointment of Edgar Smith as Vice President, Operations responsible
      for operations in Chile including El Penon and Minera Florida;

    - Appointment and promotion of Ludovico Costa as Senior Vice President,
      Operations responsible for all of the operations of the Company;

    - Appointment and promotion of Evandro Cintra as Vice President,
      Technical Services responsible for the company's extensive near
      development and development stage projects;

    - Appointment and promotion of Charles Main as Senior Vice President,
      Finance and Chief Financial Officer;

    - Appointment and promotion of Greg McKnight as Senior Vice President,
      Business Development; and

    - Appointment of Darrin Rohr as Vice President, Human Resources.

    - Retention of the entire exploration and operations groups at all
      companies from the Reno and South America offices;

    - Retention of most of the accounting group at Meridian's Reno office;
      and

    - Retention of all general managers and senior managers at the Company's
      seven mines.
    

    Senior executive management will continue to be headed by Peter Marrone
as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and Antenor Silva as President and
Chief Operating Officer. The senior management team also includes Jacqueline
Jones as Vice President, Legal and General Counsel and Assistant Corporate
Secretary and Jodi Peake as Vice President, Public and Investor Relations.
    The integration combines and complements the core competencies and skill
sets of various groups in the respective companies. In particular, it
recognizes:

    
    - The significant exploration expertise and intellectual property from
      Meridian complemented by the equally significant construction and
      development expertise from Yamana;

    - Contribution of operational depth from both companies;

    - Corporate and management strength from Yamana; and

    - Accounting strength from both companies
    

    This brings together all the best practices and personnel in the various
disciplines of company management.
    "Yamana is entering the next phase of growth - one that is full of
potential represented by the addition of resources and talent from both
Meridian and Northern Orion. To fully realize that potential, we have moved
quickly to build the executive team for the new company," said Peter Marrone,
chairman and chief executive officer of Yamana. "In every respect, Yamana has
never been stronger and with this team, we fully expect to achieve
progressively higher levels of strategic and operational excellence. There is
similarity in culture and approach and a great mix of talents. The team has
now undertaken a process of determining the value added we intend to provide
for all of our mines and properties."
    Yamana has also appointed from the Meridian Board of Directors Robert A.
Horn, Richard P. Graff and Carl L. Renzoni to its Board of Directors effective
October 16, 2007. These appointments supplement Yamana's existing board. The
total board is now comprised of ten board members.
    Mr. Horn previously served as Vice President, Exploration for Inco
Limited, FMC Gold Company and BP Canada. He has been on Meridian's board since
2004 and is a member of the compensation committee.
    Mr. Graff is a retired partner from Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP where he
served as the audit leader in the United States for the mining industry. Mr.
Graff has been on Meridian's board since 2005 and is the chairman of the audit
committee and serves on the corporate governance committee. Mr. Graff will
also join the Company's audit committee.
    Mr. Renzoni retired from BMO Nesbitt Burns in 2001 where he was employed
since 1969 and most recently served as a managing director. Mr. Renzoni has
been on Meridian's board since 2000 and serves as the chairman of the
corporate governance committee.
    "With their impressive public sector credentials and industry knowledge,
Mr. Horn, Mr. Graff and Mr. Renzoni represent a strong addition to the
expertise of our existing board," said Peter Marrone, chairman and chief
executive officer of Yamana. "We look forward to benefiting from their
collective experience," added Mr. Marrone.

    Strategic Plan

    Yamana's strategic plan is focused on organic growth initially targeting
production of 1.2 million ounces of gold in 2008 and progressively increasing
to a sustainable level of 2.2 million ounces of gold in 2012. Production at
these levels will be driven from enhancements, expansions, improvements and
development of existing assets. Exploration successes from the Company's
impressive and robust exploration portfolio will support and supplement these
levels.

    
    Specific aspects of the strategic plan include the following:

    - Sustainability of production;

    - Low cost production both before, and particularly after, by-product
      credits;

    - Focus on growth in resources, production, cash flow and earnings;

    - Organic resource and production growth from development of existing
      projects and further exploration efforts from one of the most
      impressive portfolios of exploration concessions in the Americas;

    - Focus on locations friendly to industry, and mining in particular, with
      mining pedigree, culture and history;

    - Focus on areas with developed infrastructure;

    - Focus on programs with manageable and modest capital costs;

    - Results driven approach to exploration, development, construction and
      operations;

    - Ensuring priority is given to environmental, community, health and
      safety issues; and

    - Focus on government, community and social relations.
    

    Yamana owns seven producing mines, two of which are undergoing expansion,
five development stage projects and an extensive exploration portfolio in the
Americas. Yamana's mining approach is to target low cost of production both in
reliance on and independently of by-product credits.
    The principal components of targeted production to a sustainable
production level of 2.2 million ounces of gold in 2012 include the following:

    
    - Increasing sustainable gold production at the Chapada mine from a
      baseline of 170,000 ounces of gold in addition to copper with plant
      capacity increases;

    - Increasing production at the El Penon mine initially to 420,000 gold
      equivalent ounces (GEO) and potential to achieve approximately 500,000
      ounces (GEO) with modest plant capacity increases and tailings
      improvements;

    - Increasing production at the Jacobina mine to exceed 200,000 ounces of
      gold largely from development of new mine areas including Canavieiras
      and Morro do Vento;

    - Increasing production at the Gualcamayo property from an initial target
      of 200,000 ounces of gold to over 300,000 ounces of gold from growing
      resources at satellite and potential underground areas;

    - Increase production at the Minera Florida mine to approximately 120,000
      ounces of gold from plant capacity increases;

    - Develop the Mercedes property to a production level of up to 200,000
      ounces of gold per year with a target date for production of 2009;

    - Develop the C1 Santa Luz property to over 100,000 ounces of gold per
      year with a target date for a feasibility study of December 2007;

    - Develop the Jeronimo project to a production level of 150,000 ounces of
      gold per year;

    - Pursue an expansion at the San Andres mine for a production level of
      90,000 to 100,000 ounces of gold per year;

    - Improvements and enhancements at the Sao Francisco mine to increase
      production to up to 140,000 ounces of gold per year; and

    - Continue development efforts at the Sao Vicente, La Pepa, Amancaya and
      other projects.
    

    "Yamana has always believed in a three-pronged strategy to achieve
sustained growth - by focusing on operational excellence and enhanced
mine-site production, through exploration and through strategic acquisitions
that deliver value," continued Mr. Marrone. "By communicating the core
elements within our strategic plan, in addition to production targets by
mine-site, Yamana is clearly ready to deliver upon each key growth strategy."

    Analyst Day

    Yamana will be hosting an analyst day in Toronto today, Thursday, October
18, 2007. Presentations by Peter Marrone, Chairman and CEO, and Antenor Silva,
President and COO, will be webcast live on October 18, 2007 at 9:15 am (EST).
The webcast can be accessed on the Company's website at www.yamana.com.
Further presentations will be made by exploration and operations personnel of
the combined company and will be available on Yamana's website.

    About Yamana

    Yamana is a Canadian gold producer with significant gold production, gold
development stage properties, exploration properties, and land positions in
Brazil, Argentina and Central America. Pending completion of the Meridian Gold
transaction, the company's portfolio will also include mines and properties in
Chile, Mexico and the United States. Yamana is producing gold at intermediate
company production levels in addition to significant copper production.
Yamana's management plans to continue to build on this base through the
advancement of its exploration properties and by targeting other gold
consolidation opportunities in the Americas.

    IMPORTANT NOTICE: This press release does not constitute an offer to buy
or an invitation to sell, any of the securities of Yamana, Northern Orion or
Meridian. Such an offer may only be made pursuant to a registration statement
and prospectus filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and an
offer to purchase and circular filed with Canadian securities regulatory
authorities. Yamana has filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
Registration Statements on Form F-10 as well as a Schedule TO tender offer
statement, both of which include the offer and take-over bid circular relating
to the Meridian offer as amended by notices of variation and extension. A
notice of extension and subsequent offering period will be mailed to Meridian
shareholders and filed with Canadian and US securities regulatory authorities
shortly. Investors and security holders are urged to read the Registration
Statements, the offer and take-over bid circular, the notices of variation and
extension and notice of extension and any other relevant documents filed with
the SEC and Canadian securities regulators, regarding the proposed business
combination transaction because they contain important information. Investors
may obtain a free copy of the offer and take-over bid circular, notices of
variation and extension, the notice of extension, the notice of extension and
subsequent offering period and other documents filed by Yamana with the SEC at
the SEC's website at www.sec.gov. The offer and take-over bid circular,
notices of variation and extension, the notice of extension, the notice of
extension and subsequent offering period and other documents may also be
obtained for free on Yamana's website at www.yamana.com or by directing a
request to Yamana's investor relations department.

    Persons who are resident in the United Kingdom should note the following
points:

    
    (i) the formal offer and takeover-bid circular issued to Meridian
    shareholders ("Offer and Circular") does not constitute a prospectus for
    the purposes of the Prospectus Rules ("Prospectus Rules") published by
    the Financial Services Authority of the United Kingdom (the "FSA").
    Accordingly, the Offer and Circular has not been, and will not be,
    approved by the FSA or by London Stock Exchange plc. No action has been
    or is intended to be taken by Yamana or by Genuity Capital Markets or
    Canaccord Capital Corporation, or any of their affiliated entities, that
    would permit a public offer of Yamana Common Shares to be made in the
    United Kingdom, which would require an approved prospectus to be made
    available to the public in the United Kingdom (in accordance with the
    United Kingdom Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 ("FSMA") and the
    Prospectus Rules before such an offer was made.

    (ii) The Offer has been made to or directed at, and deposits of Meridian
    shares will be accepted from, only those shareholders in the United
    Kingdom who are (or who are acting on behalf of), and who are able to
    establish to the satisfaction of Yamana that they are (or are acting on
    behalf of): "qualified investors" within the meaning of section 86(7) of
    FSMA, and who are also persons falling within Article 19(5) or Article
    49(2)(a) to (d) of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000 (Financial
    Promotion) Order 2005. UK shareholders receiving the Offer and Circular
    should consult with their legal advisors to determine whether they are
    eligible to receive and accept the Offer.
    

    FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS: This news release contains certain
"forward-looking statements" and "forward-looking information" under
applicable Canadian securities laws. Except for statements of historical fact,
certain information contained herein constitutes forward-looking statements.
Forward-looking statements are frequently characterized by words such as
"plan," "expect," "project," "intend," "believe," "anticipate", "estimate" and
other similar words, or statements that certain events or conditions "may" or
"will" occur. Forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and
estimates of management at the date the statements are made, and are based on
a number of assumptions and subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties
and other factors that could cause actual events or results to differ
materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Assumptions
upon which such forward-looking statements are based include Yamana's ability
to acquire 100% of the shares of Meridian; the successful completion of new
development projects, planned expansions or other projects within the
timelines anticipated and at anticipated production levels; the accuracy of
reserve and resource estimates, grades, mine life and cash cost estimates;
whether mineral resources can be developed; title to mineral properties;
financing requirements; and general economic conditions. Many of these
assumptions are based on factors and events that are not within the control of
Yamana and there is no assurance they will prove to be correct. Factors that
could cause actual results to vary materially from results anticipated by such
forward-looking statements include changes in market conditions, variations in
ore grade or recovery rates, risks relating to international operations,
fluctuating metal prices and currency exchange rates, changes in project
parameters, the possibility of project cost overruns or unanticipated costs
and expenses, labour disputes and other risks of the mining industry, failure
of plant, equipment or processes to operate as anticipated, the business of
Northern Orion, Meridian and Yamana not being integrated successfully or such
integration proving more difficult, time consuming or costly than expected as
well as those risk factors discussed or referred to in the annual Management's
Discussion and Analysis and Annual Information Form for each of Yamana,
Northern Orion and Meridian filed with the securities regulatory authorities
in all provinces of Canada and available at www.sedar.com, and the Annual
Report on Form 40-F of each of Yamana and Meridian filed with the United
States Securities and Exchange Commission. Although Yamana has attempted to
identify important factors that could cause actual actions, events or results
to differ materially from those described in forward-looking statements, there
may be other factors that cause actions, events or results not to be
anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that
forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and
future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such
statements. Yamana undertakes no obligation to update forward-looking
statements if circumstances or management's estimates or opinions should
change, except as required by applicable securities laws. The reader is
cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements.





For further information:

For further information: MEDIA CONTACT: Mansfield Communications Inc.,
Hugh Mansfield, (416) 599-0024; or Yamana Gold Inc., Jodi Peake, Vice
President, Public and Investor Relations, (416) 815-0220, Email:
investor@yamana.com, Website: www.yamana.com; or Meridian Gold Inc., Krista
Muhr, Senior Manager, Investor Relations, 1-800-572-4519, Email:
krista.muhr@meridiangold.com

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YAMANA GOLD INC.

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