Caledonia lines up development banks to develop new US$250m Zimbabwe gold mine

African development banks are seen as the most likely funders of Caledonia Mining Corporation’s planned US$250 million gold mine in Zimbabwe, the mining company’s CEO Mark Learmonth says.

Caledonia, which already owns the Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe, is updating a feasibility study ahead of the planned construction of a new mine at Bilboes to produce at least 170,000 ounces annually, making it potentially the country’s biggest gold mine.

The company is in preliminary talks with the “most likely lenders”, Learmonth said during a conference call.

“They are going to be African development banks who have indicated a high degree of interest in this project,” he said. Learmonth added that debt would form the bulk of the funding for the Bilboes project.

“We will not be approaching the market for any non-debt funding until we’ve got a better idea of what the debt capacity is because, frankly, nothing is going to be as cheap as debt funding,” Learmonth said.

He said once funding was in place, “optimistically” a year from now, construction of the mine would likely take two years after financial close.

Caledonia’s operating profit plunged 62% to US$15.18 million in 2023, from US$40.28 million a year earlier, mainly due to higher administrative and production costs.


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