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Agnico Eagle expects to hit top end of FY'16 gold production guidance after strong Q1

Agnico EagleMines Ltd. booked increased gold production of 411,336 ounces inthe first quarter, compared to 404,210 ounces a year earlier.

The Toronto-based gold producer attributed the gain tohigher grades and better recoveries at the LaRonde gold-silver mine in Canada, increasedthroughput at the Goldexgold mine in Canada and the Kittila gold mine in Finland, as well as higher gradesfrom the CanadianMalartic operation.  

"The year is off to a good start with a moreconstructive gold price environment and continued strong operating performancefrom all of our mines," CEO Sean Boyd said April 28.  

"As a result of the strong operating results, we nowexpect to meet the top end of our production guidance for 2016."

Agnico Eagle's guidance for this year is in the range of1.53 million ounces to 1.57 million ounces of gold at an all-in sustaining costof between US$850 per ounce to US$890 per ounce.

Silver production in the first quarter amounted to 1.1 millionounces, a slight increase on the 1.0 million ounces produced in the same periodof 2015, while zinc output slipped to 614 tonnes from 936 tonnes and copperproduction remained stable at around 1,154 tonnes.

Net income for the period was US$27.8 million, or 13 centsper share, a slight drop on the prior corresponding quarter's US$28.7 million,or 13 cents per share.

Revenues climbed to US$490.5 million during the quarter,from US$483.6 million a year earlier.

The all-in sustaining cost for the first quarter was lowerat US$797 per ounce on a by-product basis, compared to US$804 in the firstquarter of 2015.  

Agnico Eagle said the lower all-in sustaining cost isprimarily due to lower total cash costs per ounce on a by-product basiscompared to the year-ago period.

Additionally, the company declared an 8-cent-per-sharequarterly cash dividend.