- January 17, 2020
- Posted in LOCAL
Caledonia Mining Corporation’s Matebeleland based miner Blanket Mine has exceeded its yearly production target after breaking quarterly gold production for the year ended December 31, 2019, due to an improvement in the electricity supply the company’s Chief Executive Officer Steve Curtis has said.
The company CEO said that the production record by the mine has been as a result of improved electricity supply in the mining sector where mining firms would pay for their electricity tariffs in foreign currency. Curtis also said that the company’s vigilant focus on grade control and production tonnage has also resulted
“I am delighted to report a production record at Blanket of 16,867 ounces in the fourth quarter. An improvement in the electricity supply and vigilant focus on grade control and production tonnage have resulted in an excellent production result for the final quarter of which our entire operational staff can be justifiably proud.
According to the company’s 2019 4th quarter report, Blanket mine has surpassed its quarterly gold production for the quarter ended December 2019.
According to the company, production during the quarter was approximately 16,876 ounces of gold, exceeding the previous production record of 16,425 ounces set in the final quarter of 2017. Production in the quarter was 24 percent higher than the previous quarter and 13 percent higher than the corresponding final quarter of 2018.
Caledonia gold production according to the report during the year 2019 was approximately 55,182 ounces, ahead of revised production guidance of 50,000 – 53,000 ounces, which means that the company has surpassed its production target which was set between 50, 000 and 53, 000 ounces.
Caledonia has also advised that gold production for 2020 is expected to be between 53,000 and 56,000 ounces.
According to Curtis, Blanket mine’s production year was very impressive and achieved without compromises on safety despite distractions posed by the challenging conditions experienced by its workers due to the economic environment in Zimbabwe.
“The impressive operational turnaround was achieved without any compromises on safety. This is a commendable achievement given the distractions posed by the challenging conditions experienced by our workers due to the economic environment in Zimbabwe. I join with my fellow directors in expressing our gratitude and congratulations to all Blanket staff on the delivery of safe, profitable gold production” said Curtis.
Curtis also said that the mine has started the 2020 production year on full momentum with its performances proving to be ahead of the previous year due to rising gold prices which will make the mine a strong cash generation.
“I am also pleased to see that we have not lost this momentum as we start 2020 with the mine continuing to perform very well into the new year. With the improved operational performance and the current buoyant gold prices leading to healthy operating margins we expect Caledonia to continue its track record of strong cash generation” Curtis said.
“I expect 2020 to be a landmark year for our business: we look forward to commissioning the Central Shaft later in 2020 which we anticipate will then deliver increased operating cash flows and reduced capital expenditure will follow. In early January 2020, we announced a 9.1 percent increase in Caledonia’s quarterly dividend; the anticipated improvement in free cash flow is expected to enable the Board to review future dividend distributions as appropriate.”