Miner to boost gold output 90pc

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BLANKET mine, owned by the Canada-listed gold miner Caledonia Mining, aims to increase gold production 90% to 76,000oz a year by 2016, its chief operating officer Stefan Heydan said this week.
The mine, which complied with the country’s 51% indigenisation law last year, said the expansion would cost about $40m. The latest financial s for the year ended December indicate nearly a quadrupling of production to 45,465oz, since gold mining resumed in 2009.
Output by the end of the fourth quarter last year reached 11,821oz, a 12% rise compared with 10,533oz in the same period in 2011.
Heydan also indicated that production costs per ounce had fallen 1.7% to $571, which made Caledonia one of the lowest-cost gold producers in the world.
“After the implementation of indigenisation at Blanket, Caledonia announced a strategy to lift production 90% to 76,000oz of gold in 2016,” said Heydan.
“The target production of 76,000oz excludes any potential production upside from any of Blanket’s highly prospective 18 satellite properties .”
After compliance with indigenisation law, Caledonia owns 49% of the mine, Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust and Blanket Employee Trust 10% each, and Fremiro, consortium arm for local investors, 15%.
The National Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment Fund holds a 16% stake.
Heydan said Caledonia had paid about $4m in indigenisation dividends to the various indigenous shareholders at its Blanket mine.
“As at March 28 2013 Blanket mine had made payments totalling $4m to the Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust, comprising donations and advance dividends, with a further $1m advance dividend payment due by April 30 2013 .”Advertisement