Yamana Gold has reported an initial estimated indicated mineral resource of 1.95 million gold equivalent oz for its Cerro Moro gold project in Santa Cruz province, Argentina. The estimate represents a 44% increase from the previous estimate made before Yamana acquired the property in mid-2012.

Yamana expects to spend $12 million on 25,000 m of exploration drilling at Cerro Moro during 2013. The program will focus on drill testing eight priority target areas located on the project’s northern La Negrita block and on existing geologic targets, geochemical anomalies, and vein extensions within nine priority target areas in the southern Escondida block, which contains the majority of Cerro Moro’s current known mineral resources.

Yamana also is driving a production-ready decline into the largest of the Cerro Moro orebodies to provide a platform for further exploration work and to enable access to the orebody to explore its physical properties and grade continuity. The company is evaluating developing the project as a combined open pit-underground operation with 1,000-mt/d of mill throughput—70% from underground and 30% from open pit.