By Ndabeni Mlothswa in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe
Bulawayo — Canadian miner, Caledonia, has doubled profits at its Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe on the back of an 18 percent output of gold in the first quarter of the year. Output increased from 10 822 ounces (oz) to 12 794 due to increased tonnes milled, higher grade and improved recoveries.
“As the Blanket Mine has demonstrated in the past, increased production results in lower unit costs as the fixed cost component is spread across more production ounces,” said Steve Curtis, Caledonia’s Chief Executive Officer.
Higher gold production at a lower unit cost and a four per cent increase in the average realised gold price to $1 213 per oz all contributed to increased adjusted earnings per share of 5,3 US cents for the quarter, an increase of 96 per cent on the corresponding quarter of 2016.
The company disclosed its business continued to be strongly cash generative with operating cash flow during the quarter of $1,8 million contributing to a robust balance sheet and gross cash position at the end of the quarter was $11,9 million. The performance was attained on the back of mixed operating conditions in Zimbabwe in 2017, Curtis said, pointing out an improvement in the availability of foreign exchange but unstable power supply. Caledonia meanwhile remains on track to achieve the production target of 80 000 oz by 2021 at its subsidiary south of Zimbabwean.