Caledonia Mining’s Blanket Mine produced record quarterly gold output in the third quarter, and the company now says it will produce more gold this year than it previously expected.
Blanket Mine produced 15,164 ounces of gold in the three months to September, 11.1% up on the 13,646 ounces produced in the corresponding quarter of 2019.
Gold produced in the nine months to September was 42,896 ounces, 12% more than the 38,306 ounces produced in the nine months to September last year. With these figures, Caledonia says it will now increase production guidance for the year to between 55,000 and 58,000 ounces.
Caledonia also says it remains on track to achieve its production target of 80,000 ounces by 2022.
“The production of 15,164 ounces in the third quarter is a record result and is an increase of more than 11% compared to the corresponding quarter in 2019,” Caledonia CEO Steve Curtis said in a statement.
COVID-19, which disrupted supply chains globally, had had minimal impact on the company.
“Notwithstanding the negative effect of the coronavirus pandemic on supply chains and operating arrangements, Blanket has delivered robust production results for the first nine months of 2020. Due to the strong production, I am delighted that we are now able to increase our production guidance from 53,000 to 56,000 ounces to 55,000 to 58,000 ounces.”
Caledonia has recently announced an 18% increase on its dividends, the third time it has increased dividends to shareholders over the past year. Since October last year, Caledonia shareholders have seen a 45% cumulative increase in dividends from 6.875 cents since October 2019.
The company is deepening its central shaft, a project that will lift annual output to 80,000 ounces from 2022. Caledonia expects to complete the equipping of the shaft by the end of the year, with commissioning projected by the end of the first quarter of 2021.