Blanket Mine Q1 gold output up


A UNIT of Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation has recorded a 14% growth in gold output for the first quarter ending March 2012 compared to the same period last year on the back of strong prices of the bullion, the company has announced.

Report by Victoria Mtomba

In a statement released yesterday, Caledonia mine announced that gold produced during the period under review rose to
10 463 ounces from 9 155 ounces in the first quarter of 2012.

Caledonia’s president and chief executive officer Stefan Hayden said the daily rate of production achieved in the first quarter was slightly ahead of target.

“Gold production reported in Q1 reflects production up to cut-off for the quarter which was on March 26 due to early incidence of Easter and therefore reflects only 84 working days,” said Hayden.

The group said gold production in the first quarter was subject to minor revisions following the receipt of final assays for the last two deliveries to Rand Refineries. Assays are qualitative or quantitative analyses of a metal or ore to determine its components.

The company in January this year said it had plans to increase its annual gold production by 90% to 76 000 ounces in the next three years.

Blanket mine annually produces approximately 40 000 ounces of gold.

The gold mining company projects its capital investment to be at $37 million between 2013 and 2017 coming from internal cash flows.

The company said increased production will come from the first three of Blanket Mine’s portfolio of 18 satellite properties that are expected to start production in the fourth quarter of this year.

Blanket Mine has 18 satellite properties, the furthest of which is 42km from the mine’s Gwanda plant on which there has been some small scale historic gold mining activity.

“The eventual rate of production from these properties will be determined by the success of ongoing exploration and mining development work. Production of these properties has not been included in the76 000 ounce gold target as the resources are undefined at present,” the company said.