Gold mine on course for 44,000 oz target

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GWANDA-BASED Blanket Gold Mine’s is on course to produce approximately 44,000 ounces by December from the initial target of 40,000 oz according to the company’s third quarter report.
In a statement this week, Caledonia said gold production in the third quarter for Blanket mine surpassed the targeted 11,000 ounces to close at 12 042 ounces while production in the nine months to September increased marginally from last year.
The mine, now 49 percent-owned by Canada-based Caledonia Mining Corporation after implementing its indigenisation programme, said production is expected to continue to increase.
“We continue to move towards achieving our targeted increase in production,” said CEO Stefan Hayden.
“In light of the increased rate of production, in August, we increased our production guidance for 2013 from 40 000 oz to 44 000 oz. Production is expected to increase to 48 000 oz in 2014 and 52 000 oz in 2015.”
Blanket also retained its position as one of the lowest cost gold producers in Africa.
“The adverse effect of the lower gold price on profitability was mitigated somewhat by lower costs,” said Hayden.
“Blanket’s on-mine cost an ounce, all-in sustaining cost an ounce and all-in cost an ounce were all lower in the third quarter than in the preceding quarter and in 2012.
“Blanket’s metallurgical plant has considerable surplus capacity and is one of the most efficient in the industry, which reflects our recent investments and the skills of Blanket’s management and employees.
Supported by Caledonia’s strong cash position and continued cash generation at operational level, development and exploration activity at Blanket has accelerated, management said.
“Exploration at Blanket below 750 m and at the mine’s satellite projects continues and we continue to be encouraged by the results evaluated so far. Development and exploration work at GG and Mascot continues to identify mineralisation,” said Hayden
Meanwhile, an accident at Blanket in the third quarter resulted in one fatality and two employees being injured. Following this accident, Blanket management increased measures to ensure that the prescribed safe-working practices were strictly adhered to. 
“The directors and management of Caledonia express their sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased employee,” Hayden added.Advertisement