Blanket gold mine says production up 9pct

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PRODUCTION at Blanket Gold Mine rose by over eight percent during the first half of this year despite some teething infrastructure challenges, management has revealed.
The Gwanda based mine is 49-percent owned by Canada’s Caledonia Mining Corporation which was one of the first investors in the sector to comply with the country’s empowerment laws.
The mine, which recorded a fatality at one of its shafts this July, said 12,522 ounces of gold were produced during the second quarter ended June 30, bringing this half year total production figure to 25 316.
Caledonia chief executive Steve Curtis expressed confidence the mine would meet its revised 2017 full year production estimates ranging between 52 000 ounces and 57 000 ounces and long-term annual target of 80 000 ounces by 2021.
“Notwithstanding the 8,5 percent increase in production in the first six months of 2017 compared to the first six months of 2016, the second quarter of 2017 presented some operating challenges at Blanket,” said Curtis in a statement last week.
He added, “Although we have improved the infrastructure on 750 metre level in recent years, we are still constrained in our ability to move increased quantities of ore and development waste.
“Accordingly, in quarter 2, Caledonia took the decision to safeguard the long-term production target of 80,000 ounces in 2021 by prioritising capital development tonnage over ore production tonnage.
“This resulted in the 2017 production target being reduced from 60,000 ounces to a revised target of between 52,000 and 57,000 ounces.”
Zimbabwe’s extractive industry, according to Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa, contributed only two percent to economic growth last year.Advertisement