Caledonia Mining: Higher gold output, firmer prices deliver 138% Q1 profit growth

Workers at Blanket Mine's Central Shaft

A combination of higher gold output, lower costs and firmer gold prices have delivered a 138% increase in gross profits for Caledonia Mining in the first quarter of 2024.

The company reports an 8.2% increase in gold output for the first quarter of 2024. Production was 17,476 ounces of gold, compared to 16,141 ounces in the first quarter of 2023. The gold includes 426 ounces produced from oxides at Bilboes mine, an asset the company bought two years ago and plans to develop. Gold produced at Blanket Mine increased 6% in the quarter due to higher tonnage and grade. The improved production continued in April, with Blanket producing 7,956 ounces, beating the 5,194 ounces from April last year.

With higher output and firmer gold prices, Caledonia made a gross profit of US$13.8 million, up from US$5.8 million over the same period in 2023. EBITDA grew from US$2.3 million in Q1 last year to US$9.9 million this year. All-in-Sustaining-Costs (AISC), which measures the total costs for the company, eased by 8.2% as Caledonia spent less at Bilboes. The company is also benefitting from switching to solar energy, which resulted in a saving of US$51 per ounce for the quarter. However, Caledonia expects costs to increase this year due to some capital expenditure.  

Mark Learmonth, Chief Executive Officer, says recent exploration may see the company adding to Blanket’s life-of-mine.

“The results of this drilling programme are being incorporated into a new technical report summary for Blanket Mine which we will announce shortly; it will show a meaningful increase in the life of the mine at Blanket,” says Learmonth.

Zimbabwe’s volatile exchange rate ate into the company’s profits. Caledonia reports a foreign exchange loss of US$4.1 million in the quarter, compared to a foreign currency gain of US$1.5 million in Q1 2023.

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