BLANKET Mine, a unit of Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation, has increased its gold output for the third quarter ending September to 12 919 ounces (oz), the highest in nearly a century, driven by firm bullion prices on the international market.
Report by Bernard Mpofu
The company yesterday said in a statement that production of the bullion during the period under review was up 33% compared to the same period last year.
The figure was, however, 12% up compared to 11 560oz produced during the preceding quarter.
Total gold production for the nine months to September 30 2012 was 33 643oz, a 33% increase over the gold production in the first nine months 2011 (25 331oz).
Commenting on the Q3 2012 production, Caledonia president and chief executive officer Stefan Hayden said: “The record gold production achieved during the quarter is the highest quarterly gold production ever achieved by the Blanket Mine since its first recorded year of production in 1906. The management and staff at Blanket are to be congratulated on this noteworthy achievement.”
Caledonia expects to release its Q3 results on or before November 15 2012.
The upsurge comes at a time government projects annual gold output to rise to 15 tonnes as the country seeks re-entry to the London Bullion Market after it was disqualified when production dropped to an all-time low of three tonnes.
During peak periods, Zimbabwe produced 27 tonnes of bullion with the LBM requiring a minimum of 10 tonnes to gain membership.
International mineral prices have been fluctuating since January. The first half of the month saw gold prices declining, before rebounding in the second half of the month.
In the second half, prices surged as investors sought a hedge from Europe’s debt crisis.
Experts say during the month of July, gold prices demonstrated an unclear trend for the greater part of the month though by the end of the month, prices rallied along with the rest of the commodities markets.