Blan­ket mine gold pro­duc­tion rises 18pc

The Herald (Zimbabwe) - - Business News - Busi­ness Re­porter

CALE­DO­NIA Min­ing Cor­po­ra­tion Plc’s gold pro­duc­tion at its Blan­ket Mine rose 18 per­cent to reach a record 13 591 ounces in the quar­ter to De­cem­ber 2016 com­pared to the same pe­riod in 2015.

The in­crease in pro­duc­tion was driven by im­proved in­fra­struc­ture.

To­tal gold pro­duc­tion for the year 2016 also reached a record high of about 50 351 ounces rep­re­sent­ing a 17 per­cent in­crease over the an­nual pro­duc­tion in 2015 where 42 804 ounces were achieved.

The pre­vi­ous record pro­duc­tion had been achieved in 2013 from un­der­ground op­er­a­tions where 45 530 ounces of gold were pro­duced.

“The in­crease in pro­duc­tion in 2016 was largely due to the start of pro­duc­tion from below 750 me­ters, im­prove­ments in un­der­ground in­fra­struc­ture and the com­mis­sion­ing of the new ball mill in line with the in­vest­ment plan at Blan­ket,” said chief ex­ec­u­tive Mr Steve Cur­tis in a trad­ing update.

“2016 was a sig­nif­i­cant year for Cale­do­nia as the con­tin­ued in­vest­ment in Blan­ket be­gins to bear fruit,” he said.

Man­age­ment is up­beat of im­proved earn­ings from an an­tic­i­pated in­crease in pro­duc­tion and sales.

Cale­do­nia is tar­get­ing an­nual pro­duc­tion of 60 000 ounces this year, 20 per­cent higher than 2015, and fur­ther im­prove to 80 000 ounces by 2021.

“We ex­pect earn­ings to con­tinue to ben­e­fit from the in­creased sales vol­umes and from lower av­er­age cost per ounce as fixed pro­duc­tion costs and over­heads are spread across higher pro­duc­tion.

“This im­prove­ment makes us con­fi­dent of achiev­ing a sig­nif­i­cant im­prove­ment in earn­ings for 2017,” said Mr Cur­tis.

In line with the in­creased pro­duc­tion in 2016, Cale­do­nia de­clared a div­i­dend of 1,375 cents a share. The com­pany’s full year to De­cem­ber 31, 2016, fi­nan­cial re­sults are ex­pected in March this year.

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