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Blanket gold output marginally up
09/01/2014 00:00:00
by Business Reporter
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BLANKET Mine, the first fully indigenised mine in the country, on Thursday said gold production in the year to December 2013 was flat but managed to be 3,4 percent higher than the production guidance of 44,000 ounces at 45,517 ounces.

In a statement, parent Caledonia Mining company, said production in the fourth quarter of 2013 was adversely affected by a three-day shut down of the milling plant for essential maintenance.

Total gold production for the year increased 0,1 percent from the 2012 figure of 45,463oz. The group is targeting production of 48 000oz this year.

“The group is self-funded with no debt and had $25 million cash last year in treasury outside Zimbabwe and no necessity to raise funds.”

Canada-based Caledonia said increased production in the second quarter was due to increased daily tonnes mined and processed in response to the lower gold price.

“Total gold production for the nine months to September was 34,103 ounces, a 1,4 percent increase over the gold production in the first nine months of 2012 (33,643oz),” the miner said. 

The company said it would continue to pursue its targeted 76,000oz annualised by 2016, which would exclude any additional growth from exploration projects within trucking distance of the Blanket plant.

Said group CEO and president Stefan Hayden last year: “Increased production should help to reduce costs per ounce further as fixed costs are spread over more production.

“If we are able as planned to increase production moving forward, our average cost per ounce of gold produced may be able to be reduced somewhat.”

Exploration at Blanket and its satellite projects continues along with development and exploration to identify mineralisation which warrants further evaluation.


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