HARARE, April 22 (The Source) – Zimbabwe’s largest gold producer Metallon Corporation’s output for the first quarter ending March was up eight percent compared to the same period last year despite disruptions in production, the company announced on Tuesday.
Metallon, which operates five underground mines in Zimbabwe and exploration assets in Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo, said it focused on increasing production to full capacity at all mining operations and commencing work on new projects that will add further production.
“Work has commenced on the Sands Retreatment Project at Mazowe Mine. Metallon has appointed engineering company, Baldmin Engineering, in South Africa to build a 60,000 tonne per month plant. Fabrication of the plant is underway at the factory in South Africa, and is approximately 50 percent complete. Construction of civil engineering work at Mazowe Mine commenced in March 2015 and plant erection on site will commence in early June 2015, taking two months to complete. Commissioning of the plant is expected in September 2015,” the company said in a statement.
Metallon chief executive and deputy chairman, Mzilikazi Khumalo said the group will improve operating efficiencies and lower operating costs in the second in the second quarter.
“There have been some challenges in production during the first quarter due to equipment breakdowns, however these issues have been addressed through the equipment replacement programme. Despite this we have still seen an improvement in production of eight percent from Q1 2014 and work has advanced with our new projects,” Khumalo said.
“In the second quarter of 2015, we look forward to continued improvement in production and further progress in projects implementation. Metallon remains committed to a reduction of costs and remaining a low cost gold producer.”
The low-cost producer sees operating costs declining to $883 per ounce this year from $946 recorded last year as it ramps up production.
Metallon reported a $10 million after tax profit in 2014 and sees earnings more than doubling to $22 million on improved output and acquisition of the new mines.