Gold mine ups output
Zimbabwe’s top gold producer, Blanket Gold Mine, produced 11 980 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2012.
This was a 14 percent increase on gold production in the fourth quarter of 2011 (10 533oz) but a seven percent decrease on Blanket's record quarterly gold production in third quarter of last year (12 919oz).
Total gold production for the 12 months to December 31, 2012 was 45 623oz, representing a 27 percent increase on output in the 12 months to December 31, 2011 (35 826oz). The mine is owned by Canada-based firm Caledonia Mining Corporation. Commenting on the results, Caledonia CEO, Stefan Hayden, said: “As anticipated and as previously advised, gold production in fourth quarter was lower than in the third quarter as the achieved grade returned towards the long-term average of 3.84g/tonne.
“The production of 11 980oz achieved in fourth quarter is an excellent performance by Blanket and is 16.5 percent higher than the targeted production of 10 000 oz/quarter,” he said.
“Production for the whole of 2012 of over 45 600oz is a new annual production record for Blanket and reflects the outstanding performance of Blanket's management and staff during the year with its multitude of challenges.”
Caledonia recently indicated it would invest about US$37 million in Blanket Mine between now and 2017, and planned to increase output there by 90 percent to 76 000 oz/year by 2016, up from the 40 000oz targeted for 2013.