Blanket Mine gold output up 19% in Q1

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HARARE- Caledonia Mining unit Blanket Mine’s gold production for the quarter to March 31, 2020 increased 19% to 14 233 ounces from 11 948 ounces due to operational improvements recorded in the period.

The group believes the performance has established a strong base which will be helpful in withstanding any disruptions that may arise as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Steve Curtis, Chief Executive Officer, said that the performance was due to operational improvements in the latter part of 2019, which have continued into 2020. Notwithstanding restrictions in Zimbabwe, he said that the mine remained in production and are maintaining good levels of output.

“In previous years, gold production was lower in the first quarter of each year and increased in the following quarters. Subject to the mine not experiencing any unforeseen production interruptions associated with the COVID-19 Pandemic, I expect the quarterly production profile to be more evenly balanced throughout 2020 because of the increased focus on development.

“To begin the year with a strong start, at a time of firm gold prices, has established a strong base which is helpful in withstanding any disruptions that may arise as a result of the current COVID-19 pandemic.”

Caledonia has with a strong balance sheet with cash on hand at March 25, 2020 of approximately $12.5 million. Cash has been boosted by a strong Q1 production performance at the recently elevated gold prices.

The current cash on hand and existing term and overdraft facilities already in place at Blanket leave the business in a strong position to withstand an extended period of production interruption if it were to materialise.””

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