And another one: Caledonia buys Motapa Mine from Metallon unit, adding to growing gold portfolio

Caledonia Mining has added another asset to its growing portfolio. Its latest buy is Motapa Mining, whose gold claims sit next to Bilboes Mine, which Caledonia agreed to buy in July.

This is Caledonia’s third acquisition since September last year, when it bought Pan African Gold’s Maligreen claims near Gweru.

Motapa was held by the Bulawayo Mining Company, the Metallon Corporation unit that runs How Mine. The purchase price was undisclosed, but Caledonia says it is below the regulatory disclosure threshold. Motapa is some 75km north of Bulawayo with a mining lease covering approximately 2,200 hectares.

“Given its large scale, excellent geological prospectivity and its strategic location adjacent to Bilboes, Motapa was a high priority acquisition for Caledonia. We look forward to developing an exploration program for Motapa as we target a large-scale gold belt surrounding the Bilboes project,” Caledonia CEO Mark Learmonth said Wednesday.

Anglo-American Zimbabwe explored Motapa before leaving the Zimbabwean gold sector in the late 1990s. Metallon went on to buy the asset from Oleaster Investments in 2003.

Until 1990, Motapa is said to have produced up to 300,000oz of gold from 2.4 million tonnes of ore, an average grade of 5.4 grammes per tonne. However, no further development was done on the property after Anglo left, and none of the old mining infrastructure remains.

Caledonia has been looking to buy more assets to add to Blanket Mine, currently its only operation. After completing the new shaft at Blanket, which has sharply increased output at the mine, Caledonia has more cash ready for acquisitions. Caledonia in July announced it was buying Bilboes for US$53 million, and is assessing other potential acquisitions.

“With the central shaft at Blanket now fully operational and production targeting 80,000 ounces of gold per year we anticipate that we will deploy the incremental cash flow arising from Blanket into our exciting exploration and project development portfolio in Zimbabwe,” Learmonth says.


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