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Argentine Gold Production to Grow 21% in 2010, Government Says

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Sept. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Argentina’s gold production will rise by about 21 percent in 2010 from a year earlier, Mining Secretary Jorge Mayoral said.

Gold output will rise to about 2.05 million ounces this year from 1.7 million in 2009, Mayoral said yesterday in an interview in his Buenos Aires office. Exploration and production are picking up this year following the global economic slowdown in 2009, he said.

“Drilling recovered after the slowdown in 2009 and there is an all-time record number of exploration projects in the nation,” Mayoral said.

AngloGold Ashanti Ltd., Barrick Gold Corp. and Xstrata Plc are among the miners producing gold in Argentina. Goldcorp Inc., the second-largest Canadian producer of the precious metal, this month offered to pay $3.5 billion for Andean Resources Ltd., an Australian-based gold miner whose primary exploration focused on the southern Argentine region of Patagonia.

Gold is the metal with best output growth perspectives in Argentina in the near term, Mayoral said. Silver production will rise to about 70 million ounces by 2017 from 25 million in 2009 as projects under review now come online, he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rodrigo Orihuela in Buenos Aires at rorihuela@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net.

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