We have strengthened our senior management team to better reflect this operations-focused strategy. I promoted Brant Hinze to the position of President, and expanded the roles of other key members of the management team. We also recruited Tony Giardini as our Chief Financial Officer, bringing his proven experience in the mining industry to this key role.
Thanks to our strict operations focus and an outstanding second half, we delivered on our 2012 commitments at our mines. We ended 2012 by exceeding our yearly production guidance with gold equivalent output of 2.62 million ounces, and achieving the lower half of our cost of sales guidance range with an average cost of sales of $706 per gold equivalent ounce.
Our Russian and North American operations led the way with excellent performance throughout the year. Our North American mines are strong, stable open-pit and underground operations with a track record of operational excellence. At Kupol, in Russia, throughput is now averaging over 3,500 tonnes per day, exceeding its nameplate capacity of 3,000 tonnes per day, largely through continuous improvement initiatives and excellent work by our team at site.
In our South America region, we completed the installation of a fourth ball mill at Paracatu in Brazil in 2012 — the final phase of our Paracatu expansion project — and we are now beginning to see what we can do without the distractions of a lengthy construction process at site. Our Tasiast mine in the West Africa region is similarly challenged by the distractions of construction activity at site, and there is clearly room for operational improvements. One tactic of our Way Forward strategy is to transfer our best practices between regions, and we will continue to work with our teams to bring lessons learned in North America and Russia to our South America and West Africa operations.