Miner will not risk venturing into other minerals
New York Stock Exchange Listed Caledonia Mining Corporation chief executive Steve Curtis said the miner will only stick to gold mining in Zimbabwe and will not take the risk of venturing into other minerals.
By Regerai Muchineripi
Curtis recenty said Caledonia will capitalise on its vast knowledge in gold mining to extend its presence in Zimbabwe to become one of the biggest producers in the precious mineral endowed country.
“We will not take the risk of venturing into other minerals like chrome because we believe our expertise is mainly centred in gold. However we would want to mainly focus on gold mining in Zimbabwe and also look at ways to increase gold production at our existing mine,” said Curtis.
As part of its expansion plans, Caledonia Mining Corporation which owns 49 percent of Zimbabwean based Blanket Mine has reportedly submitted its bid on the Zimbabwe Mining Development Corporation (ZMDC)’s gold mines as the miner looks at expanding its footprint.
ZMDC owns Jena and Elvington goldmines, as well as Sabi mine which is currently under judicial management and a joint venture with Chandiwana mines.
The recent move by Caledonia comes after ZMDC had invited tenders from private partners as it seeks to reopen at least six mines that had been lying idle for several years due to a number of factors, chief among them lack of recapitalisation funds.
Caledonia Mining Corporation chief financial officer Mark Learmonth recently told state media that the gold miner made its bid following the invitation of tenders by the state mining vehicle.
Curtis added that Caledonia mining is seriously looking at issues of expansion and will be looking at assets that will increase the company’s growth.
Following the resource upgrade at its Blanket mine, the mining group has extended the scope of the Central Shaft project by increasing the depth of the shaft by a further 250 metres to a shaft bottom depth of 1,330 metres.
The extension will allow for a further two production levels (in addition to the two new levels that were already planned) and will potentially extend Blanket’s life of mine by four years to 2031.
The shaft extension and the new production levels will cost approximately $18 million –much less than if we had done this work after the shaft had been completed and commissioned to the original target depth of 1,080 metres.
The extension of the shaft is not expected to delay the achievement of the target production of approximately 80,000 ounces per year by 2021 but it will improve operational flexibility.
The move by Caledonia to expand is in line with President Emmerson Mnangagwa’s push to have the country’s economy work again.