Caledonia Mining’s revenues rose by 21 percent in the latest quarter as production from its Blanket gold mine hit another new record.
The Zimbabwe-focused miner says production this year is on course to hit the top end of its 73-80 000 ounces guidance after output rose 11 percent to 21 200 ounces in the three months to end-September.
Gross revenues in the quarter were US$107,9 million, up 21 percent, with underlying profits of US$16,9 million, a 12 percent rise.
Caledonia’s all-in sustaining cost per ounce for the quarter of US$944 represents an 8,5 percent increase compared to US$870 in the same period last year, and is due to higher on-mine cost per ounce and higher administrative costs.
Net cash and cash equivalents at the end of the third quarter of US$6,2 million was lower than the US$13,0 million realised at the same period in 2021.
Mark Learmonth, chief executive, said some of the benefits of the higher production were diluted by lower grades, while inflation also had an impact on costs.
Last week Caledonia also announced that it has purchased Motapa Mining Company UK Limited, the parent company of a local subsidiary which holds a registered mining lease over the Motapa gold exploration property in the southern part of the country.
Motapa is a large exploration property which is contiguous to the Bilboes gold project.
According to the chief executive officer, Learmonth 2022 has been an outstanding year so far for the mining firm.
Caledonia has been expanding its footprint in Zimbabwe with an agreement to buy the Bilboes project awaiting approval.
Caledonia intends to re-start the oxides operation at Bilboes, under a tribute arrangement before completion of the transaction, with a view to creating a cash-generative operation within approximately six months of the commencement of activity.
In their outlook, they seek to increase production at Blanket Mine to the target of 80 000 ounces of gold per year, as well as reduce operating costs and increase the flexibility to undertake further development and exploration, thereby safeguarding and enhancing Blanket’s long-term future.
The chief executive said, “We seek to satisfy the conditions to enable the completion of the acquisition of Bilboes and, thereafter, prepare a feasibility study to identify the most judicious way to commercialise the Project with regard to the availability of funding on acceptable terms.
“Restart the oxides operation at Bilboes under the terms of a tribute arrangement with a view to creating a cash-generative operation within approximately six months of the re-commencement of activities.”
The miner said it will look to commission the 12MW solar plant, which is expected to provide 27 percent of Blanket’s total electricity demand.
A dividend for the quarter of US14c was paid in October – Harare