Caledonia Mining Corporation, which owns Blanket Mine in Matabeleland South province, targets to increase gold output to 75 000 ounces in 2021 as the mine has begun focusing on increasing output.
Last year, Blanket Mine produced 54 511oz of the yellow metal and this year, the gold miner targets production ranging between 50 000 and 53 000oz.
“Blanket Mine plans to increase production from 54 511oz of gold in 2018 to approximately 75 000oz in 2021 and approximately 80 000oz in 2022,” said Caledonia in a statement announcing the appointment of Mr Nick Clarke as an independent non-executive director.
Mr Clarke, who is also chairman of Central Asia Metals PLC, is a highly experienced Chartered Engineer with 45 years in the mining industry.
He has held senior positions in several resource companies and is well known as a successful executive in the sector having been involved in the construction of major mining projects and conducted several fundraising initiatives on the stock markets.
The group’s chairman, Mr Leigh Wilson, was quoted as saying: “As we enter the equipping phase of the Central Shaft project at Blanket Mine, having completed shaft sinking in July, Caledonia’s management team and board continue also to focus on new opportunities as Blanket Mine begins to ramp up to its target of 80 000oz of gold per year from 2022 onwards.
“Mr Clarke’s experience will provide further support in evaluating and implementing these opportunities, with Blanket Mine’s ongoing mining operations acting as the catalyst in furtherance of the company’s growth and development”.
On his appointment as an independent non-executive director of Caledonia, Mr Clarke said he was delighted to join Caledonia’s board at an exciting time in the company’s development.
“It is testament to the strength of Caledonia’s management team that, in what has been a turbulent period in Zimbabwe, the Blanket Mine has operated successfully, Caledonia has continued to pay a regular quarterly dividend and the Central Shaft project is nearing completion.
“I look forward to being part of Caledonia’s board and working with my fellow directors and Caledonia’s management team to support Caledonia’s profitable growth,” he said.
In July this year, the mining group, which owns 49 percent interest in Blanket Mine, announced that it had completed shaft sinking at the new Central Shaft at the mine under an estimated $44 million investment.
Meanwhile, gold output at Blanket Mine improved by 6,4 percent to 12 712oz in the second quarter ended June 30, 2019 compared to 11 948oz in the previous quarter. Gold output for the quarter under review was slightly below target, but ahead of the comparable quarter in 2018, where the projection was 12 657oz.
Despite gold output in the quarter under review being lower than the previous comparable period, Caledonia maintains its 2019 full year production guidance of 53 000 to 56 000oz and remains on track with progress towards its 2022 target. The Chronicle