Yamana hires Canadian mining executive ahead of Osisko acquisition

TORONTO Tue May 13, 2014 8:59am EDT

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TORONTO May 13 (Reuters) - Yamana Gold Inc said on Tuesday that former Agnico Eagle Mines Ltd executive Daniel Racine would head its Canadian mining and development operations, a key hire for the Latin America-focused company as it increases its presence in its home base of Canada.

Last month, Osisko Mining Corp agreed to sell most of its assets to Yamana and Agnico Eagle for C$3.9 billion ($3.6 billion) to thwart a hostile offer from larger rival Goldcorp Inc.

The deal would give Yamana and Agnico joint control of Osisko's flagship asset: the Canadian Malartic gold mine in the province of Quebec. The huge mine is attractive as it is a low-cost project located in a stable political jurisdiction.

While Agnico already has extensive operations in Quebec, the deal marks a shift for Yamana and gives the company its first major asset in Canada. Most of Yamana's focus lies in owning and operating mines in Latin America.

Racine, however, has extensive experience operating mines in Canada.

He most recently was president and chief operating officer for Brigus Gold, which Primero Mining Corp recently acquired. Brigus owned the Black Fox mine and mill in the Timmins gold district in northern Ontario.

Previously, Racine was a senior vice president at Agnico Eagle where he oversaw its global mining operations.

Osisko's shareholders are set to vote on the deal with Yamana and Agnico at a special meeting on May 30 in Montreal.

The companies expect the transaction to close in June after receipt of all shareholder, court, regulatory and exchange approvals.

($1 = 1.0898 Canadian dollars) (Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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