Blanket Mine on track
Records 23% year-on-year gold production increase
MATABELELAND South-based Blanket Mine produced 13 430 ounces of gold in the third quarter ended September 30, 2016, representing a 23 percent increase year-onyear.
In a statement, Aim-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation, which owns a 49 percent stake in Blanket Mine, said latest production statistics at the Zimbabwe operation show a 7,4 percent improvement on the second quarter output figures.
“Approximately 13,430 ounces of gold were produced during the 3rd quarter, representing a 23 per cent year-on-year increase on the gold produced in Q3 2015 (10,927 ounces) and a 7.4 percent quarter-on-quarter increase on the gold produced in Q2 2016 (12,509 ounces),” said Caledonia.
The mining corporation said it remains on track to meet production guidance for this year of 50,000 oz and continues to progress towards its long term target of 80,000 oz by 2021.
Increased productivity at Blanket Mine in the third quarter was a result of higher-grade materials mined below 750 metres, accessed through the No. 6 Winze, or connection, and an additional decline development.
Caledonia said in terms of the ongoing investment programme at Blanket Mine, a new ball mill has been installed and the commissioning process is proceeding as anticipated.
“The new mill will increase daily throughput at the Blanket plant by 20 per cent, from 1,500 tonnes a day to 1,800 tonnes a day, and will allow Blanket to meet its plan to double 2015 production to 80,000 ounces by 2021,” it said.
Commenting on the production for Q3 of 2016 and on the installation of the new ball mill, Caledonia chief executive officer Mr Steve Curtis said:
“Production in the third quarter was in line with expectations, and shows that Caledonia and Blanket Mine remain on track to deliver our target performance for 2016.
“Production in the Quarter includes production from higher grade material below 750 metres, which is accessed via the No. 6 Winze and an additional decline development.
“This is further testament to the investments Caledonia has made to increase production flexibility and capacity over the past 18 months, which are now beginning to bear fruit as production from below 750 metres continues to increase.
“We are also pleased that the new mill, which was manufactured locally in Zimbabwe, has been installed and the commissioning process is progressing as expected as it is an important step in increasing our production to 80,000 ounces over the next 4 years.” — @okazunga
Mr Steve Curtis