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PI Financial backs buy rating for Timmins Gold, expects 30% growth in production profile this year

PI Financial backs buy rating for Timmins Gold, expects 30% growth in production profile this year

Timmins Gold's (TSE:TMM)(NYSE MKT:TGD) encouraging drill results from the ongoing campaign at its San Francisco mine this week certainly did well for the company as investment dealer PI Financial reiterated its buy recommendation for the gold miner, saying an increase in the confidence of resources is expected. 

Along with the buy rating, analyst Philip Ker gave a $3.05 target price - a 25 per cent premium to the $2.44 price the day the report was issued. 

On Tuesday, Timmins announced gold intersects of 72 metres of 1.6 grams per tonne (g/t), 15 metres of 4.2 (g/t), and 14 metres of 3.2 (g/t) at the San Francisco Pit. 

The San Francisco gold mine, Timmins Gold's flagship property, is comprised of two pits, the larger San Francisco Pit and La Chicharra Pit, located approximately 1.5 kilometres to the west. 

A total of 28,000 metres in 125 holes were drilled inside, beneath and directly around the San Francisco Pit. The drilling program is designed as infill drilling to both fill in voids in the block model and convert existing previously drilled inferred ounces into the measured and indicated categories. In both cases, assay results received to date indicate that the programs were successful in reaching these goals.

"We expect an increase of confidence of resources and reserves at San Francisco as a result of the abundant drilling completed since the last mine plan in November 2011," said Ker in the research report. 

The company produced 94,444 ounces of gold in 2012 from its open-pit heap leach operation, and management is aiming to expand its crushing circuit in its efforts to bring throughput up to 30,000 tonnes per day, for a target of between 125,000 to 130,000 of gold output. 

"We expect Timmins to achieve over 30% growth to its production profile in 2013 and delivery of successful and expanding operational results remain the key catalyst going forward," notes Ker. 

Timmins is trading Friday at $2.37, and with 144 million shares outstanding, the company is capitalized at $339 million. 

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