Business

Caledonia in record gold production

Ishemunyoro Chingwere

Business Reporter

NEW York Stock Exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation, has announced record gold production for the year 2020 at Blanket Mine, which saw the miner’s total annual haul hitting almost 58 000 ounces .

The record haul comes at a time the Government is pushing for mining production ramp up that is poised to see the country’s total mineral exports earning US$12 billion from 2023 onwards up from US$2,7 billion in 2017.

Increased capacity at already existing mining houses as is the case with Caledonia’s Blanket Mine, is one of the key anchors expected to drive the mining sector turnaround.

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The 2020’s strong performance comes on the back of the miner having managed 55 182 ounces in 2019.

In a notice to shareholders, the mining concern said it is looking for even better returns in 2021 and in the future.

“Record total gold production during 2020 was 57 899 ounces, the top end of the company’s revised increased guidance,” said the company in a notice.

“Approximately 15 012 ounces of gold were produced during the (fourth) Quarter. Gold production for 2021 is expected to be between 61 000 – 67 000 ounces,” reads the notice.

The company’s production projections are usually not off the mark having projected between 53 000 and 56 000 ounces for 2020.

Commenting on the production figures, Caledonia Mining Corporation chief executive officer MR Steve Curtis, said he is delighted to note the continued improvements at Blanket Mine.

Mr Curtis also noted that the improved production was recorded despite the effects of Covid-19, which saw several companies, across the globe, taking a knock.

“I am delighted by Blanket Mine’s continued strong operating performance in the Quarter and that we were able to hit the top end of our revised annual production guidance,” said Mr Curtis.

“Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, 2020 was a record year for Caledonia operationally, and we are on track for commissioning of Central Shaft to be completed in the first quarter of 2021.

“In December we also announced that we had entered into option agreements on two properties in Zimbabwe, delivering on our strategy of organic growth, while increasing the dividend for the fourth time at the start of January to 11 cents a share, creating genuine value and returns for our shareholders,” he said.

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In October, Caledonia signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Government which is aimed at boosting the miner’s investment portfolio and gold production.

Speaking at the signing ceremony President Mnangagwa said the coming on board of global giants like Caledonia is an indication that Zimbabwe is a safe investment destination.

As part of its commitment, Caledonia in the MoU, undertook to take deliberate strategies that will see it producing in excess of 500 000 ounces (about 14 tonnes of gold) by 2030.

“This ceremony is a milestone achievement towards our quest to attain a US$12 billion mining sector economy by 2023,” said the President after the signing ceremony. “Furthermore, it is indicative of the Caledonia Mining Corporation’s explicit interest to invest in our economy, affirming that Zimbabwe is a safe investment destination,” he said.

HERALD