Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc has announced that Chief Operating Officer (COO) Dana Roets will step down from his role on February 29, 2024. However, Roets will remain a director of the company and its subsidiaries until that date.
Roets joined Caledonia as COO in 2013 and has played a significant role in the development of the business over the past decade.
During his tenure, the Caledonia’s production increased from 45,000 ounces to over 80,000 ounces in 2022. In the most recent quarter, ended September 30, 2023, the Blanket Mine achieved record quarterly production of nearly 21,800 ounces. Additionally, the group’s all-in sustaining costs decreased from $978 per ounce to $878 per ounce over the same period.
One of the key factors contributing to Caledonia’s success in the past decade was the successful implementation of the Central Shaft project. Under Mr. Roets’ direction, the company sank a six-meter diameter shaft from the surface to 1,204 meters.
The project was accomplished using internal financial and technical resources and was completed without any fatalities. It also significantly extended the mine-life of Blanket Mine, a Gwanda based gold miner.
Furthermore, the resumption of deep-level exploration at Blanket in early 2023 has shown promising results, which are expected to further extend the mine’s lifespan.
In light of Mr. Roets’ impending departure, Caledonia has already begun the process of identifying a suitable candidate for the COO position.
Commenting on the announcement, Caledonia Mining Chief Executive Officer, Mark Learmonth, expressed his appreciation for Roets’ contributions over the past decade. Learmonth highlighted the increased production, reduced costs, and exploration success achieved under Roets’ leadership. Learmonth also mentioned significant milestones, such as the operational solar plant and the construction of a new tailings storage facility.
“Dana has made an outstanding contribution to Caledonia over the last ten years – as evidenced by the increased production, reduced costs and exploration success which we believe will, in due course, extend Blanket’s life of mine. This was achieved against the backdrop of a challenging operating environment and the COVID-19 pandemic which introduced a new set of unanticipated operational challenges,” Learmonth said.
“Dana is leaving the business not only having seen Blanket Mine hit its long-term target of 80,000 ounces (in 2022), but also with an operational solar plant providing around a quarter of Blanket Mine’s daily electricity requirements, thereby reducing our dependence on diesel generators. More recently, he has overseen the construction of the first phase of a new tailings storage facility which, when fully built, is expected to serve the mine for at least the next fourteen years at the current production rate.
“Along with the board and his colleagues, I would like to thank Dana for his contribution and we wish him well in his future endeavours,” Learmonth concluded.