By Alois Vinga
BLANKET Mine’s gold production in the fourth quarter of 2019 increased by 24%, surpassing initially set targets in a development indicating positive output from the mining giant’s strategic plans.
Speaking on the performance, Caledonia Mining Corporation’s chief executive, Steve Curtis said gold output in the last quarter exceeded past records.
“Approximately 16,876 ounces of gold were produced during the quarter, exceeding the previous production record of 16,425 ounces set in the final quarter of 2017. Production was 24 per cent higher than the previous quarter and 13 per cent higher than the corresponding final quarter of 2018,” he said.
In the year 2019 total production was around 55,182 ounces, ahead of revised production guidance of between 50,000 to 53,000 ounces.
In 2020 gold production is expected to be between 53,000 and 56,000 ounces.
Said Curtis; “I am delighted to report a production record at Blanket of 16,867 ounces in the fourth quarter. An improvement in the electricity supply and vigilant focus on grade control and production tonnage have resulted in an excellent production result for the final quarter of which our entire operational staff can be justifiably proud.”
He said the impressive operational turnaround was achieved without any compromises on safety which a commendable achievement is given the distractions caused by the challenging economic environment in Zimbabwe.
Caledonia’s primary asset is a 49% interest in an operating gold mine in Zimbabwe at Blanket Mine.
In November 2018, Caledonia announced that it had signed a legally binding sale agreement to increase its holding in Blanket Mine to 64%, subject to receipt of, amongst other things, regulatory approvals.
Caledonia’s shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange American ,the Toronto Stock Exchange and depositary interests representing the shares are traded on London’s AIM.
As at September 30, 2019, Caledonia had cash of approximately US$8.0million.
Blanket Mine plans to increase production from 55,182 ounces of gold in 2019 to approximately 75,000 ounces in 2021 and approximately 80,000 ounces in 2022.
By Alois Vinga