Gwanda Community Share Ownership Trust (GCSOT) has received a dividend of over US$300 000 from Blanket Mine, credit to the indigenisation and empowerment act which ensured that all communities benefit from business activities happening in their areas.
According to Caledonia Mining Corporation CEO Mark Learmonth, a dividend payment of US$360,000 has been paid to GCSOT from Blanket mine.
In 2012, Caledonia facilitated the ownership of 51 per cent of Blanket by Indigenous Zimbabweans in accordance with the prevailing legislation at that time. This included a 10 per cent ownership by the local community via GCSOT. In 2020, following changes in legislation, Caledonia increased its shareholding in Blanket to 64 per cent, but GCSOT retained its 10 per cent ownership.
In 2012 and 2013 Blanket made advance dividend payments to GCSOT totalling $4 million so that GCSOT had funds to establish its operations. GCSOT repaid the advance dividends by sacrificing its entitlement to future dividends. Initially, GCSOT sacrificed 100 per cent of its dividend entitlement, which was subsequently reduced to 80 per cent. The outstanding balance of the advance dividend account at June 30, 2021 (being the most recent reporting date) was $0.2 million.
On September 29, 2021, Blanket paid a dividend following which the advance dividend account has been completely repaid.
Henceforth, GCSOT, one of the indigenous shareholders, will receive its full entitlement to 10 per cent of Blanket’s dividends.
Commenting on the announcement, Mark Learmonth, Caledonia’s Chief Executive Officer, said:
“In October 2021, Blanket Mine announced that the advance dividend loan had been repaid and going forward GCSOT would receive its full entitlement of 10 per cent of dividends paid by Blanket Mine.
“With investment in our local communities and employees being at the heart of our business, I am delighted that this dividend has now been paid.”