Michael Tome Business Reporter
Toronto Stock Exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation yesterday announced its successful commissioning of an oxygen plant at Blanket Mine in Bulawayo.
The new oxygen plant is expected to provide up to six tonnes of improved oxygen supply to the Blanket Carbonin-Leach plant.
Oxygen is the key element in gold ore processing and on-site oxygen production is considered a lucrative option that is used to reduce logistic costs in mining business as most mining sites or mineral processing plants are in remote areas.
In his remarks following the commissioning, Caledonia mining cooperation chief executive officer Steve Curtis said the plant will be instrumental in enhancing the company’s gold production.
He pointed that the new investment was the first step towards Caledonia’s renewed investment efforts.
“We are pleased to have successfully commissioned the new oxygen plant at Blanket and look forward to improved operating efficiencies as a result.
“This marks the latest in a series of investments to increase production and improve operating proficiency at Blanket as we continue our growth trajectory to 80 000 ounces per annum by 2022,” he said.
Mr Curtis said the new machinery will help in reducing costs of doing business owing to enhanced working efficiencies.
“We also anticipate that the oxygen plant will result in slightly lower operating costs as cyanide consumption is expected to be reduced as a result of the improved oxygen supply; and the operating costs of the new oxygen plant are predicted to be lower than those of the previous two tonne plant,” he said.
This development comes on the back of Caledonia’s set target to increase gold output to 75 000 ounces in 2021 as the mine is now geared to increase output.
In July this year, the mining group, which owns 49 percent interest in Blanket Mine, announced that it had completed shaft sinking at the new Central Shaft at the mine under an estimated $44 million investment.
Last year, Blanket Mine produced 54 511ounces of the yellow metal, and this year the gold miner targets production ranging between 50 000 ounces and 53 000 ounces.