Blanket mine achieves new production record
Harare (New Ziana) – Improved electricity supplies,grades and tonnage saw Caledonia’s Blanket Mine deliver a new quarterly production record of 16 876 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2019.
The company, which recently declared a 9.1 percent dividend increase to 7.5 US cents, on Monday reported impressive production results as the miner continues to rise above the current economic challenges affecting Zimbabwe.
The company said approximately 16 876 ounces of gold were produced during the period under review, exceeding the previous production record of 16 425 ounces set in the final quarter of 2017.
“Production in the quarter was 24 per cent higher than the previous quarter and 13 per cent higher than the corresponding final quarter of 2018,” the company said.
“Total gold production during 2019 was approximately 55 182 ounces, ahead of revised production guidance of 50 000 to 53 000 ounces.”
Commenting on the results, Caledonia chief executive officer Steve Curtis said; “An improvement in the electricity supply and vigilant focus on grade control and production tonnage have resulted in an excellent production result for the final quarter of which our entire operational staff can be justifiably proud,” he said.
“I am also pleased to see that we have not lost this momentum as we start 2020 with the mine continuing to perform very well into the new year. With the improved operational performance and the current buoyant gold prices leading to healthy operating margins we expect Caledonia to continue its track record of strong cash generation.”
Curtis added; “I expect 2020 to be a landmark year for our business: we look forward to commissioning the Central Shaft later in 2020 which we anticipate will then deliver increased operating cash flows and reduced capital expenditure will follow.”
For 2020, the mine is targeting gold production of between 53 000 and 56 000 ounces, rising to approximately 75 000 ounces in 2021 and 80 000 ounces in 2022.
Government is targeting gold production of 100 tons and earnings of US$4 billion per annum to anchor the attainment of a US$12 billion local mining industry by 2023.