Illegal mining threatens Blanket Mine operations

BY MTHANDAZO NYONI

CALEDONIA Mining Corporation has bemoaned the rampant increase of illegal mining activities on properties controlled by its gold mining company, Blanket Mine in Gwanda.

Blanket Mine has exploration title holdings in the form of registered mining claims in the Gwanda Greenstone Belt totalling 237 claims — properties covering about 2 500 hectares.

Included within these claim areas are 18 previously operated small gold workings which warrant further exploration.

“There has been an increase in illegal mining activities on properties controlled by Blanket. This gives rise to increased security costs and an increased risk of theft and damage to equipment,” the company said in its management’s discussion and analysis of the consolidated operating results and financial position for the quarter ended June 30, 2019.

“Blanket has received adequate support and assistance from the Zimbabwean police in investigating such cases.”

Meanwhile, the company said it needed to identify new resources to replace depleted ore and to commence new projects.

Blanket has embarked on the development and exploration programmes, but it said no assurance could be given that exploration would be successful in identifying sufficient mineral resources of an adequate grade and suitable metallurgical characteristics suitable for further development or production.

“The business of Caledonia contains significant risk due to the nature of mining, exploration and development activities. Caledonia’s business contains significant additional risks due to the jurisdictions in which it operates and the nature of mining, exploration and development. Included in the risk factors below are details of how management seeks to mitigate the risks where this is possible,” it said.

Caledonia is an exploration, development and mining corporation focused on Zimbabwe.

Following the implementation of indigenisation at the Blanket Mine in September 2012, its primary asset was a 49% stake in the gold mine.

Pursuant to the signing of an agreement announced on November 6, 2018, Caledonia intends to purchase a further 15% of Blanket from one of Blanket’s indigenous shareholders.

The transaction remains subject to approvals from various Zimbabwean regulatory authorities.

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