Blanket Mine FY15 production up 2.5 pct, targets 50,000oz in 2016

Blanket Mine FY15 production up 2.5 pct, targets 50,000oz in 2016

HARARE, January 6 (The Source) – Gold production at Caledonia Mining Corporation’s 49 percent owned Blanket Mine rose by 2.5 percent to 42,806 ounces in the full year to December, the company said Wednesday.

The Canadian-listed junior miner had targeted 42,000oz for the year, but saw a 5.4 percent increase in output in the fourth quarter to December to 11,518oz.

“The increased production reflects the continued progress in implementing the Revised Investment Plan, announced on November 3, 2014. The completion of the Tramming Loop ... 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,” said chief executive Steve Curtis.

The company tabled a revised investment plan for the Gwanda-based mine in 2014 which entails investing $50 million in the period 2015-2017 and a further $20 million between 2018 and 2020 to increase annual output from 40,000 ounces to around 80,000oz by 2021.

“Target production for 2016 of approximately 50,000 ounces represents an increase of approximately 17 per cent 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,” he said.

Curtis said the projected increase in production is expected to result in a low the miner’s average production cost per ounce.

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