By Business Reporter – 20 March 2019
HARARE (Mining Index) – CALEDONIA’S investment plan at Blanket Mine is expected to boost gold production, reduce operating costs while increasing flexibility for further exploration and development to its Zimbabwean operations.
Presenting results for the fourth quarter and year ended December 31 2018, Caledonia Mining Corporation Chief Executive Officer Steve Curtis said his company’s strategic focus is the implementation of an Investment Plan which is expected to boost gold production through successful completion on the central shaft at Blanket Gold Mine.
“Caledonia’s board and management believe the successful completion of the Central Shaft is in the best interests of all stakeholders because it is expected to result in increased production, reduced operating costs and increased flexibility to undertake further exploration and development, thereby safeguarding and enhancing Blanket’s long-term future,” said Curtis.
“During the year we continued to implement the Investment Plan at Blanket Mine with the objective of increasing production to 80,000 ounces per annum. Certain operational and economic factors have resulted in less development being achieved than planned, which will result in a slower production ramp-up than originally expected. Production is now expected to be approximately 75,000 ounces in 2021 increasing to approximately 80,000 ounces in 2022.”
The central shaft will be sunk to a depth of 1,204 metres and has now reached 1,150 metres with only 54 metres from the planned shaft bottom.
The shaft is expected to be operational in approximately 15 months.
Curtis highlighted that work is currently focused on horizontal development of the loading station where the shaft sinking is expected to be completed by the end of June 2019, after which the shaft will be equipped prior to commissioning scheduled for mid-2020.
Curtis said Caledonia intends to evaluate further investment opportunities in Zimbabwe that would not fall underneath Blanket’s ownership. ENDS//