Blanket Mine H1 gold output up 13%
Harare (New Ziana) -Canada based Caledonia’s local mining unit, Blanket Mine in Gwanda, Matabeleland South, produced 27 732 ounces of gold for the six months ended 30 June 2020, a 12.5 percent increase on last year’s corresponding quarter.
The miner’s HY19 yellow metal output stood at 24 660oz.
Caledonia chief executive Steve Curtis said the strong performance signified that the company was well on course to deliver its 2020 production target despite disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“For production to be 12.5 percent ahead of the corresponding 2019 level at the half year stage leaves us well placed for the full year and on track to meet our full year guidance of 53 000–56 000oz,” he said.
“This strong performance and high gold prices have ensured that the business remains on a very solid foundation as we prepare for the next phase of our growth with the completion of the central shaft in 2020 and increased production to 80 000oz by 2022.”
For Q2 2020, Blanket’s gold production surged to 13 499oz from 12 712oz in Q2 2019.
“The production of 13 499oz in Q2 2020 is an outstanding achievement given the challenges faced during the quarter as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. To have achieved a 6.2 percent increase on the comparable Q2 2019 during a period where our workforce and supply chains were disrupted is a performance of which every employee should be justifiably proud,” Curtis said.
He added that: “Thankfully the virus has not affected our operations or the broader Zimbabwean gold mining sector too seriously although we remain vigilant.”
Target output in 2021 is estimated at 75 000oz and 80 000oz in 2022.
The Zimbabwe government is targeting gold output 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.