Blanket Mine in record quarterly production, on course for FY target

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Blanket Mine
Caledonia's Blanket Mine in Gwanda, Matabeleland South

Business Writers 

HARARE – Caledonia Mining said gold production from its Blanket mine in Zimbabwe rose to a quarterly record in the third quarter as it reaffirmed its full-year production target.

The gold miner said Wednesday that the Blanket mine produced 21 772 ounces gold, which is a new quarterly record for the mine and a 3% increase from the 2 120 ounces it produced in the same quarter a year before.

Gold produced in the year to end-September was 55 244 ounces, while the full-year target remains between 75 000 and 80 000 ounces of gold.

In addition, the miner said recent drill results at Blanket indicate that there is additional mineralisation that might be accessed using current infrastructure and which should further extend the life of the mine.

“Blanket continues to provide a solid foundation for the Company, providing us with a platform for our other growth projects in Zimbabwe,” Chief Executive Mark Learmonth said.

The company is set to spend US$31.5 million this year on the expansion programme in a bid to fully capacitate the Blanket Mine central shaft. In an interview, Learmonth noted that the company has so far used 28.8% of the capex budget. “As of the end of Q2, we spent US$9.1 million on property, plants, and equipment. We plan to spend US$31.5 million at Blanket for the full year 2023.”

Through consistent exploration, the company has been able to increase the resource base seven times, growing Blanket’s resource by about 86% (or about 800 000 oz) since 2011, despite mining more than 300 000 oz during this time. As a result, Blanket’s life has been extended from an initial six years at the end of 2014 to 15 years.

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