- April 22, 2021
- Posted in LOCAL
CALEDONIA Mining Corporation says its local gold mining operation, Blanket Mine, “slightly” missed the first quarter production target but remains on track to achieve the 2021 projection of between 61 000 and 67 000oz.
In a trading update for the quarter ended 31 March 2021, Caledonia said traditionally its first quarter gold output tends to be lower but increases in subsequent quarters.
“A total of 13 197oz of gold were produced during the quarter. Caledonia remains on track to hit its production guidance of between 61 000 to 67 000oz for the full year,” it said.
Caledonia chief executive officer, Mr Steve Curtis, said production in the first quarter of 2021 was slightly below target and below the comparable quarter in 2020 although at a level that allows the business to maintain its 2021 production guidance.
“Gold production has often been lower in the first quarter of each year and increases in the following quarters,” he said.
Mr Curtis said the rain season saw unprecedented flooding at the mine, which resulted in several lost shifts during the period.
“These temporary issues have now been rectified and with the Central Shaft now operational, we remain on track to hit our target,” he said.
Meanwhile, Caledonia has announced the increase of its quarterly dividend by nine percent to US$0,12 on each of the company’s shares, which would be paid this month-end.
In January this year, the New York Stock Exchange-listed company paid a previous quarterly dividend of US$0,11.
Caledonia recently announced that it had obtained exclusive rights to explore new gold mining claims in the Connemara North area near Gweru in the Midlands province.
Connemara North is in close proximity to the Glen Hume property, which is also under Caledonia focus consideration. The option was giving Caledonia the right to explore the area for a period of up to 18 months.
The firm hopes to derive favourable outcomes from this effort, which will impact positively on its overall business.
Last year, Caledonia’s total annual haul hit close to 58 000oz. The record haul comes at a time when the Government is pushing for a mining production ramp-up to reach its annual target of US$12 billion total minerals earning by 2023 up from US$2,7 billion in 2017.