HARARE – Caledonia’s Blanket Mine plans to increase production from 56,136 ounces of gold in 2017 to approximately 80,000 ounces by 2021.
This is according to the Group’s second quarter trading update released on Thursday this week. Blanket Mine’s target production for 2018 is between 55,000 to 59,000 ounces.
Approximately 12,657 ounces of gold were produced during the Quarter, 2 percent below production in the first quarter of 2018 and 1 percent above production in the second quarter of 2017.
This takes the miner’s production for the first half of 2018 to 25,582 ounces, marginally ahead of the 25,316 ounces produced in the first half of 2017.
Commenting on the production for the period, chief executive officer Steve Curtis, said production remains in line with expectations for 2018 and Caledonia maintains its 2018 production guidance of 55,000 ounces to 59,000 ounces for the full year.
“Blanket remains on track with progress towards its long-term target of 80,000 ounces by 2021.”
“Grade during the quarter was below our expectation although grade has reverted to budgeted levels in the recent weeks.
The lower grade was partly a result of normal variations in the ore body and partly a one-off consequence of some modified mining practices which were adopted to improve safety,” said Curtis.
In terms of the central shaft, Curtis said the project continues to progress well and we look forward to commencing production from the central shaft in 2020 which is expected to deliver the Company’s growth plan to achieve 80,000 ounces by 2021. The shaft is currently at a depth of 1 073 m.
Meanwhile, the gold miner on Thursday also reported that an employee had been killed in an accident in a development area of the Blanket mine.
“It is with great sadness that we announce a fatal accident at Blanket. This is a very disappointing setback to our efforts to improve safety at Blanket, which has been a key focus area for the business in 2018.
“My colleagues and I express our sincere condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of the deceased,” said Curtis.