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Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc: Q2 2023 Production Update

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc: Q2 2023 Production Update

Blanket Mine

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc announces quarterly gold production from the Blanket Mine and from the Bilboes Oxide Project (“Bilboes Oxides”) in Zimbabwe for the quarter ended June 30, 2023 (the “Quarter”) and the half year ended June 30, 2023. All production numbers are expressed on a 100 per cent basis and are based on final assays from the refiner.

 Q2 2022
Q1 2023
Q2 2023
H1 2022H1 2023Change
(H1 2022
to H1


Production at Blanket in the Quarter was 17,436 ounces, representing an 8.7 per cent increase on the 16,036 ounces produced in the first quarter of 2023. Gold produced at Blanket in the first six months of 2023 was 33,472 ounces, compared to 38,606 ounces produced in the first half year of 2022.

Production at Blanket in the Quarter, although improved from the previous quarter, was still below expectations. This was due to several factors which impacted the implementation of the mine plan in certain mining areas. These factors included a high level of missed blasts and errors in blasting accuracy which contributed to inadequate face advances. Management has focused intensively on these problem areas and production in late June and in July has shown a marked improvement.

Production for the first six months of 2023 was lower than the first six months of 2022 due to the issues arising in the Quarter (as noted above) in addition to difficulties encountered in the prior quarter which, as previously advised, included several mechanical breakdowns.

In light of the improved performance in late June and early July, management re-iterates Blanket’s production guidance from December 31, 2023 of between 75,000 and 80,000 ounces1.


1,076 ounces of gold were produced from the Bilboes Oxides in the Quarter, showing an increase from the 105 ounces produced in the first quarter of 2023. There was no production at the Bilboes Oxides in 2022.

The Bilboes Oxides was intended as a small-scale, low-margin, short-term project which was primarily justified by the benefits of pre-stripping in anticipation of the development of the larger sulphide project.

The Company has previously withdrawn guidance for the Bilboes Oxides and, in the absence of a reasonable prospect of it making an overall cash contribution, the project will be returned to care and maintenance with effect from October 1, 2023.

Mining and metallurgical processing will continue at Bilboes Oxides until the end of September; thereafter leaching of material that has already been deposited on the leach pad will continue. Oxide mining and processing will resume when the stripping of the waste for the sulphide project commences.

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Commenting on the announcement, Mark Learmonth, Chief Executive Officer, said:

“After an encouraging start to the second quarter at Blanket, production was below expectations in May and the first half of June.

“Management interventions to identify and address the problems appear to have been successful and production improved substantially in late June and early July. Production in the first week of July was at a record level and was almost 400 ounces better than planned. Whilst we have much work to do to make up for the production shortfall from the first six months, we are confident that we will do so and we therefore re-iterate our production guidance for 2023 of between 75,000 and 80,000 ounces of gold.

“The outlook for the Bilboes Oxides is insufficiently certain unless it is done in conjunction with the waste stripping for the sulphide project. Accordingly, we have decided to return this project to care and maintenance until the work commences on the larger sulphide project when the remaining oxide material will be mined and processed alongside the sulphide ore. This outcome has no bearing on the quality of the much larger sulphide project which was the sole reason for acquiring Bilboes.”

This news release has been approved by Mr Dana Roets (B Eng (Min.), MBA, Pr.Eng., FSAIMM, AMMSA), Chief Operating Officer, the Company’s qualified person as defined by Canada’s National Instrument 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects (“NI 43-101”).

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