Toronto-based Yamana Gold Tuesday announced proven and probable gold reserves of 19.4 million ounces as of December 31, 2008, a record for the company.

Total newly discovered proven and probable gold reserves totaled 2.5 million ounces in 2008 while total measured and indicated gold resources were up 22% to 15.7 million ounces.

The increase was attributed primarily to the addition of more than 600,000 ounces at Mercedes in Mexico, and net addition of more than 1.1 million ounces at Gualcamayo in Argentina, more than 140,000 ounces at Minera Florida in Chile, over 200,000 ounces at Jacobina and 100,000 ounces at Chapada, both in Brazil.

Yamana plans to spend a minimum of US$56 million this year for exploration with the goal of further increasing mineral reserves and resources. This year's exploration will focus on mine and near-mine opportunities in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina.