CANADA-BASED gold miner Caledonia Mining achieved record production of 16 876 oz from its 49%-owned Blanket mine, in Zimbabwe, in the quarter ended December 31.
Production was 24% higher than that of the previous quarter and 13% higher than that produced in the corresponding quarter of 2018.
It also exceeded the mine’s previous production record of 16 425 oz, which was achieved in the fourth quarter of 2017.
CEO Steve Curtis attributed the “excellent” production result for the quarter to an improvement in the electricity supply and vigilant focus on grade control and production tonnage.
“The impressive operational turnaround was achieved without any compromises on safety. This is a commendable achievement given the distractions posed by the challenging conditions experienced by our workers due to the economic environment in Zimbabwe,” he commented.
The mine produced 55 182 oz for the full year, ahead of the revised production guidance of 50 000 oz to 53 000 oz.
Caledonia on Monday advised that gold production for this year was likely to be between 53 000 oz and 56 000 oz.
Curtis expects this year to be a landmark year for Caledonia, with the company anticipating commissioning the Central Shaft later in the year, which is, in turn, expected to deliver increased operating cash flows and reduce capital expenditure.
“I am pleased to see that we have not lost this momentum as we start 2020 with the mine continuing to perform very well into the new year,” he commented.
“With the improved operational performance and the current buoyant gold prices leading to healthy operating margins, we expect Caledonia to continue its record of strong cash generation.”