Blanket Mine profit 27 percent lower

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CALEDONIA Mining’s Blanket Mine in Gwanda’s gold production was flat in 2013, with final quarter output down 3.3 percent on lower gold prices and a three day maintenance shutdown.
The depressed gold prices pushed gross profit down 27 percent in the year compared to last year despite the slight production increase of 0.14 percent, the Canadian-based junior miner said on Monday.
Production rose slightly to 45,527 ounces in 2013 compared to 45,465oz in the prior year, but gross profit was 27 percent lower at $30 million from $41 million.
On quarterly basis, the group said it produced 11,429 ounces compared to 11,821 ounces during the corresponding period last year.
Gross profit for the quarter dropped by more than 50 percent to 4.5 million from 9.7 million.
The company said that development and exploration activity at Blanket continued over the period.
“Production is expected to increase to 48,000 ounces in 2014 and 52,000 ounces in 2015,” the company said.
“Further increases in production are expected following the completion of the No. 6 Winze Project, which is intended to provide access to deeper resources below 750 meters.”
Exploration at Blanket below 750 metres has continued and results so far have been encouraging and the down plunge extent of the Blanket 4 Ore body has now been intersected with eight boreholes, all of which returned payable gold values, it added.
Caledonia said it was considering additional acquisition opportunities in the country but this will depend of the results of the ongoing evaluation and the investment climate in Zimbabwe.Advertisement