Harare (New Ziana)- Blanket mine in Gwanda, Matabeleland South province, delivered a new quarterly production record of 20 091 ounces of gold during the second quarter ended June 2022, pushing total output for the first half of the year 29 percent above the same period last year, its parent company Caledonia announced on Wednesday.
The record breaking second quarter performance was a 20 per cent increase on the 16 710 ounces produced over the same period in 2021.
“Gold produced for the first half of 2022 was 38 606 ounces, approximately 29 per cent more than the 29 907 ounces produced in the first half of 2021,” the company said.
Commenting on the record performance, chief operating officer Dana Roets said the mine was on course to meet annual production target.
“Production in the first half of 2022 was excellent and exceeded our expectations. Production excludes an estimate of approximately 1,500 ounces of recoverable gold included in an ore stockpile which will be processed after the commissioning of additional milling capacity in the next few weeks.
“We have now achieved our quarterly target of 20 000 ounces and are on track to hit our annual production target of between 73 000 – 80 000 ounces of gold.”
Buoyed by the US$67 million central shaft which was commissioned in the first quarter of 2021, Blanket produced 67 476 ounces last year, up from 57 899 ounces in 2020.
Caledonia has also set its sights on becoming a multi-asset gold producer in Zimbabwe.
The planned expansion by Caledonia is one of several projects that are expected to spur the attainment of a US$12 billion local mining industry by 2023.
Under the road-map, gold production of 100 tons and earnings of US$4 billion per annum are expected to anchor the attainment of the US$12 billion milestone.
The milestone is expected to be achieved through sustained production growth across high value minerals such as gold, platinum, diamonds, lithium and chrome.
At least US$3 billion in annual export earnings is expected from platinum at a production rate of 2.4 million ounces a year, while chrome, iron ore and steel are expected to contribute US$1 billion, the same as diamonds at a production rate of over 11 million carats per annum.
Coal and hydro-carbons are expected to contribute US$1 billion, lithium US$0.5 billion while other minerals would add US$1.5 billion.