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Agnico-Eagle hikes gold production outlook

Gold is poured at Agnico-Eagle's Meadowbank Mine.


Agnico-Eagle Mines Ltd. increased its production guidance for the year as it reported a swing back to profitability in the third quarter.

The gold miner said it now expects to produce 1.025 million ounces of gold for the year, up from an earlier estimate of 975,000.

Agnico-Eagle also said it expects the cost to produce the gold will come in at $660 (U.S.) per ounce compared with an earlier estimate of $690.

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The company said its profit amounted to $106.3-million, or 62 cents per share, in its latest quarter, up from a loss of $81.6-million, or 48 cents, a year ago when the company wrote off its Goldex operation in Quebec.

Revenue from the company's mining operations totalled $535.8-million, up from $520.5-million in the third quarter of 2011.

"Continued strong operating performance during the third quarter has resulted in a further strengthening of our financial position," said Sean Boyd, Agnico-Eagle's president and chief executive officer.

"In addition to steady production from all of our mines, and in particular, record gold output at Meadowbank and Kittila, we are pleased to announce an increase in our full year production forecast with an associated reduction in the total cash cost estimate."

The Toronto-based gold miner also said Wednesday that David Smith has been promoted to chief financial officer.

Mr. Smith, who was senior vice-president of strategic planning and investor relations, fills the spot left by the departure earlier this year of Ammar Al-Joundi, who joined Barrick Gold Corp.

Agnico-Eagle stopped operations at the Goldex mine last year due to unstable rock formations and flooding.

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The Goldex mine is in the Abitibi region of Quebec and part of a group of mines that Agnico-Eagle owns including the LaRonde mine and Lapa mine.

Agnico-Eagle has mines and exploration and development projects in Canada, Finland, Mexico and the United States.

The company's LaRonde mine is Canada's largest operating gold project in terms of reserves.

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