Blanket Mine records massive gold output

26 Mar, 2023 - 00:03 0 Views
Blanket Mine records massive gold output Blanket Mine

The Sunday News

Judith Phiri, Business Reporter 

STOCK exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation says its Zimbabwe-based gold mine, Blanket Mine recorded 80 775 ounces of gold in 2022, achieving the company’s long-term production target, against 67 476 ounces recorded in 2021. 

In its operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2022 on Friday, Caledonia Mining Corporation, chief executive officer (CEO), Mr Mark Learmonth said the company has seen a tremendous amount of change. 

Mr Mark Learmonth

“Operationally, the last 12 months have marked a turning point for the business, and I am delighted that we hit our long-term target of just over 80 000 ounces. The last couple of years have seen a tremendous amount of change in the company as we pivot the direction of the business towards becoming a multi-asset gold producer in Zimbabwe,” said Mr Learmonth. 

He said they have always seen huge geological potential in the country and were very excited about the portfolio of attractive new assets that they have acquired. 

“In November we purchased Motapa, an asset we consider to be highly prospective and strategically important in our growth ambitions, as it is a large exploration property which is contiguous to the Bilboes gold project. In January 2023, following the satisfaction of conditions precedent, we closed the acquisition of the Bilboes Gold Project. A feasibility study prepared by the vendors indicates the potential for an open-pit gold mine producing an average of 168 000 ounces per year over a 10-year life of mine,” added Mr Learmonth. 

He said Caledonia has commissioned its own feasibility study to identify the most judicious way to commercialise the project to optimise shareholder returns. Mr Learmonth said one approach that will be considered is a phased development which would minimise the initial capital investment and reduce the need for third-party funding. 

“The Company has also restarted the oxide operations at Bilboes providing immediate cash-flow and has given guidance of between 12,500 – 17,000 ounces for 2023.” 

He said in November 2022, the company’s 12.2 megawatts solar plant was connected to the Blanket grid and the mine has since been receiving 27 percent of its energy from solar. Mr Learmonth said the solar power will displace power from the grid and from the diesel generators and is expected to reduce Caledonia’s consolidated cost per ounce of gold produced by approximately $37. 

“This completion happily coincides with an improvement in the supply of power from the Zimbabwe grid which has substantially reduced the amount of diesel consumed. We are confident that we will continue to see an ongoing meaningful reduction to our diesel usage month on month, fully justifying our investment in solar power and delivering on our Environmental Social Governance strategy.” 

Mr Learmonth said the quarterly dividend continues to be an important part of the company’s strategy and during the year and they paid a quarterly dividend of 14 cents a share, providing a healthy yield to our shareholders. 

He said they believe the dividend coupled with their growth strategy makes them an attractive investment and sets them apart from their industry peers. 

“I would like to thank the Caledonia team for their continued hard work, and I look forward to updating shareholders of our progress.” 

Among the other 2022 financial highlights, Caledonia recorded gross revenues of US$142 million, gross profit of US$61.8 million and dividend paid of 56 cents per share. 

Share This:


We value your opinion! Take a moment to complete our survey

This will close in 20 seconds