Caledonia gold production rises 11,4% in 2017

CALEDONIA Mining Corporation Plc has achieved a full year gold production of 56 135 ounces (1,59 tonnes), up 11,4% from the 2016 output despite a slow production in the first half of 2017, the company said yesterday.

BY BUSINESS REPORTER

The increase in output was steered by a 14% uptick in the fourth quarter ended December 31.

At the end of the fourth quarter, Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc produced 16 425 ounces (0,465 tonnes) of gold from the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe.

In a statement yesterday, Caledonia Mining Corporation chief executive officer, Steve Curtis said they were very pleased to have achieved their full year production guidance for 2017.

“Full year production of 56,135 ounces for 2017 is a significant achievement especially when considering the relatively slow production we experienced in the first half of the year,” he said.

“To finish the second half of the year with two quarterly production records and the production of almost 31 000 ounces (0,878 tonnes) of gold in the six month period is an achievement of which all of our technical and production staff should be justifiably proud and bodes well for the delivery of our expansion plans at Blanket as we continue to invest for the production of 80 000 ounces (2,26 tonnes) by 2021.”

In a year-on-year comparison, the increase in the fourth quarter of 2017 was a 21% increase in the corresponding quarter in 2016.

The total 2017 gold production was marginally ahead of 2017 production guidance of 54 000 to 56 000 ounces (1,53 and 1,58 tonnes).

“2017 was a pivotal year for Caledonia as we announced our plans to extend the current central shaft project deeper with the resulting extension in mine life at Blanket following the encouraging exploration results that were achieved during the year,” Curtis said.

He said this production achievement would set the business up well for 2018, as they targeted a production of between 55 000 and 59 000 ounces (1,55 and 1,67 tonnes) of gold.

Caledonia’s primary asset is a 49% interest in the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe, which produced 50 351 ounces of gold in 2016 at an all in sustaining cost of $912 per ounce.

As at September 30 2017, Caledonia had net cash of $11,8 million

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