Yamana Gold's Tender Offer for Meridian Gold Successfully Accepted by Shareholders; Yamana and Meridian Provide Combined Third Quarter Operational Highlights



    
    TSX: YRI
    NYSE:   AUY
    LSE: YAU
    

    TORONTO, Oct. 15 /CNW/ - YAMANA GOLD INC. (TSX:YRI)(NYSE:  AUY)(LSE:YAU)
and MERIDIAN GOLD INC. (TSX:MNG)(NYSE:  MDG) today announced that as of the
tender deadline on October 12, 2007, 79,873,250 common shares of Meridian Gold
had been validly deposited to Yamana's offer to acquire all of the outstanding
shares of Meridian. Yamana has taken up and accepted for payment all of these
shares, which represent approximately 78 percent of the common shares of
Meridian on a fully diluted basis. Yamana will pay for these shares promptly.
    Yamana offered to acquire all of the outstanding common shares of
Meridian on the basis of C$7.00 cash plus 2.235 Yamana common shares for each
Meridian share. The aggregate cash consideration to be paid by Yamana will be
approximately C$559 million and the aggregate number of common shares to be
issued by Yamana will be approximately 179 million, in respect of the shares
tendered to date.
    Yamana has surpassed the minimum purchase condition of its offer and has
extended its offer to midnight (EST) on November 2, 2007 to allow the
remaining Meridian shareholders additional time to tender to the offer. For
U.S. securities law purposes, this extension constitutes a subsequent offering
period. A notice of extension and subsequent offering period will be mailed to
Meridian shareholders on October 16, 2007.
    All of the conditions to Yamana's agreement with Northern Orion have now
been satisfied or waived, and Yamana's plan of arrangement with Northern Orion
was completed and became effective on October 13, 2007. Northern Orion
shareholders will shortly receive 0.543 of a Yamana common share and C$0.001
in cash for each Northern Orion share.
    A formal process of acquisition of the balance of any outstanding
Meridian shares will occur as is customary in similar transactions either by
compulsory acquisition or subsequent acquisition transaction which would be
intended to be completed before year end.

    THIRD QUARTER OPERATIONAL HIGHLIGHTS

    Yamana and Meridian provide the following operational update on a
combined basis for the third quarter of 2007. Total production on a proforma
combined basis during the third quarter was approximately 209,700 ounces of
gold, 33.5 million pounds of copper, 2.2 million ounces of silver and 801
tonnes of zinc. Additional copper and gold production is also contributed by
the interest in Alumbrera.
    The following is a breakdown of operations by geography:

    Brazilian, Argentine & Honduran Operations & Development (Yamana)

    Consolidated gold production during the third quarter was approximately
131,400 ounces, representing record gold production for the Company from its
Brazilian and Honduran mines. As previously announced, Yamana remains on track
to produce approximately 300,000 ounces of gold for the second half of the
year. The Company will assess and update its production expectations from time
to time as it continues to gain production experience from its mines recently
placed into production.
    Gold production was more than 49,700 ounces from Chapada and
approximately 27,300 ounces from Sao Francisco with the balance from Yamana's
other operations including approximately 36,600 ounces of gold combined from
San Andres and Fazenda Brasileiro and approximately 17,300 ounces from
Jacobina. Copper production for the third quarter totaled approximately 33.5
million pounds.
    At Chapada, a total of 54,628 tonnes of concentrate was produced and
55,773 tonnes of concentrate were delivered for sale during the quarter.
Concentrate production is expected to increase further and cash costs are
expected to decline at Chapada as operations ramp up to full capacity in the
fourth quarter.
    The Company continued to gain mining experience and a better
understanding of the deposit at Sao Francisco. The mining and processing of
more marginal or dump leach ore continued at Sao Francisco during the third
quarter in keeping with the mine plan. Lower grade material and material
initially believed to be waste is continuing to show higher grades than
originally anticipated. This also has the effect of maintaining the proven and
probable reserves of the higher grade material at Sao Francisco. During the
third quarter, Yamana began to implement measures to reduce costs as planned
for the second half of the year.
    Production at Jacobina continued to ramp up during the third quarter
following implementation of additional safety protocols and recommendations of
rock mechanics advisers after certain sill pillar failures in historically
mined areas which occurred earlier this year. Production is expected to
increase in the fourth quarter as previously announced. Engineering and
construction is underway and on track to increase the throughput capacity to
6,500 tonnes per day during the first quarter of 2008 and to 8,500 tonnes per
day by the end of 2008. Current forecast production for 2008 is 140,000 to
150,000 ounces with production of 200,000 ounces targeted for 2009. It is
expected that production at Jacobina will be sustained at a rate of over
200,000 ounces per year after 2009 and, while this is largely dependant on
upgrading the large indicated and inferred resources to reserves over the
coming years, the resource base is considered sufficient for sustained
production at this level from 2009 onward. As part of the expansion strategy
and upgrading of resources to reserves, underground mine development
activities continued to progress at Canavieiras and at Morro do Vento
Extension where most of the resource upgrade is expected.
    During the third quarter, the Company received its permit and completed
the first phase of its feasibility study for Gualcamayo. Construction is in
progress with planned start-up of operations in mid-2008.
    Yamana will provide a more detailed update on the status of the expansion
at Jacobina and continuing development work along with further exploration and
development activities at Gualcamayo shortly.

    Chilean & Mexican Operations & Development (Meridian)

    Consolidated gold production for the third quarter was approximately
78,300 ounces of gold, 2.2 million ounces of silver and 801 tonnes of zinc
from El Penon and Minera Florida.
    At El Penon, for the third consecutive quarter, production exceeded
internal budgets. For the third quarter production was 2% higher than forecast
and year-to-date, production was 10% greater than forecast. During the third
quarter, the mine experienced its highest quarterly silver production since
the commissioning of El Penon, reaching a record amount of 2.2 million ounces.
    During the third quarter the land surrounding the Minera Florida mine in
Chile was consolidated to include the Membrillo and Chancon districts. A
landmark option agreement was concluded with a private Chilean mining company
to acquire a 65% interest in the districts, in which a 65% interest can be
earned in 12,500 hectares of mining concessions by spending US$5.5 million on
exploration over the next 42 months and paying the owners a variable rate,
depending on size and gold price, for each gold ounce identified with a
feasibility study. This option agreement doubles the land holdings in the
highly prospective region around Minera Florida to a total of over 25,000
hectares.
    At Jeronimo, metallurgical testing commenced during the second quarter of
2007. Preliminary floatation results are encouraging and additional results
are expected to be available for release during the fourth quarter.
    Based in Tuscon, AZ, with offices in Hermosillo, Sonora, Mexico, M3
Engineering and Technology Corporation (M3) has been retained as project lead
to assist in engineering design and project management for the pre-feasibility
and feasibility studies for the Mercedes project. M3 with the assistance of
other key technical advisors working in the areas of metallurgical testing,
environmental, mine engineering and social responsibility will provide a solid
team for completion of the pre-feasibility and feasibility work. Conceptual
design calls for underground access via a production-ready 1,500 metre decline
with drill stations capable of supporting at least 100 holes totaling 12,000
metres.
    A further update on Mercedes and continuing exploration activities at El
Penon will be delivered shortly.

    FINANCIAL RESULTS

    Yamana will release its full third quarter financial results after the
close of business on November 7, 2007. A conference call will follow on
November 8, 2007 at 11:00 am EST. Full third quarter financial results for
Meridian will be released in advance of that after the close of business on
October 23, 2007.

    ANALYST DAY

    Yamana will host an analyst day in Toronto on 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 (ET). 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 Jodi Peake, Vice President, Investor
Relations, (416) 815-0220, Email: investor@yamana.com, Website:
www.yamana.com; or Krista Muhr, Senior Manager, Investor Relations,
1-800-572-4519, Email: krista.muhr@meridiangold.com

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