By Alois Vinga
CALEDONIA Mining Corporation has bemoaned the decision taken by the South African government to lock down the country for 21 days as it battles to contain the fast spread of the coronavirus saying it would affect the importation of spares needed for use in their operations in Zimbabwe.
The lockdown is aimed at minimising the risk of spreading coronavirus in South Africa after the neighbouring country has registered 927 positive cases on Thursday night.
However, the mining giant’s chief executive, Steve Curtis said the move would make it difficult to source for required raw material.
“The lockdown is expected to have knock on effects for Caledonia as the supply chain for the procurement of a significant portion of mining consumables and capital equipment for the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe comes from South Africa,” he said.
However, Caledonia is confident that Blanket Mine can manage the effects of the lockdown without interruption to its gold production after stocking critical spares.
Curtis said in the event of a similar lockdown happening in Zimbabwe, all measures have been put in place to keep operations running.
Caledonia said the company is approaching the crisis with a strong balance sheet with cash on hand of approximately US$12.5 million.
“We approach this challenge with a strong balance sheet, adequate inventory levels and a healthy workforce. Our employees and indeed the people of Zimbabwe have successfully overcome great challenges in the recent past,” Curtis said.