HARARE - Caledonia Mining Corporation (Caledonia) says gold production at its Zimbabwe operations increased by 10,6 percent to 11 518 ounces during the last quarter of 2015.
The Toronto Stock Exchange-listed resources company owns 49 percent in Gwanda-based Blanket Mine.
The group’s chief executive, Steve Curtis, yesterday said total 2015 gold production was approximately
42 806 ounces, a 2,5 percent increase over the annual gold production in 2014 of 41 771 ounces and 1,9 percent higher than the production guidance of 42 000 ounces for 2015.
“Production in the fourth quarter of 2015 was higher than in both the preceding quarter and the comparative quarter of 2014. Production in 2015 was also higher than the previous year and slightly exceeded our guidance,” he said.
Curtis noted that the increased production reflects the continued progress in implementing the revised investment plan, announced on November 3, 2014.
“The completion of the Tramming Loop on 22-Level (750 meters below surface) slightly ahead of schedule in mid-2015 was an important factor which contributed to the increased production by alleviating the underground logistical problems which constrained production in 2014,” he added.
Caledonia, which has a secondary listing on London’s Alternative Investment Market (Aim), is targeting to ramp up production this year on the back of improved capacity.
“Target production for 2016 of approximately
50 000 ounces represents an increase of approximately 17 percent from the production achieved in 2015. The increased production in 2016 will be derived from the No. 6 Winze, which is scheduled to commence production in the middle of the first quarter of 2016, and will provide access to ore below 750 meters,” Curtis said.
The junior gold miner said quarterly production profile was expected to be approximately 10 700 ounces of gold in the first quarter of 2016 increasing to approximately 14 000 ounces of gold by the fourth quarter of 2016.
“Due to the high fixed cost component at Blanket and the generally stable environment for input costs, the projected increase in production to approximately 50 000 ounces of gold is expected to result in a lower average production cost per ounce,” he added.
Caledonia expects that its financial results for the quarter and year end to December 31, 2015 will be released before March 31, 2016.