Caledonia Mining Corporation has released its 2019 third-quarter production numbers for Blanket Mine, where some 13,646 ounces were unearthed up 7,3 percent from the previous quarter.
The company is also expecting better recoveries and lower costs from its newly commissioned plant at Blanket.
Chief executive Steve Curtis said the new oxygen plant will provide up to six tonnes of improved oxygen supply to the Blanket Carbon-in-Leach plant “which is expected to increase recoveries to approximately 94 per cent.”
He said the plant was the latest in a series of investments to increase production and improve operating proficiency at Blanket as production rises to 80 000 ounces per annum by 2022.
“The new oxygen plant will provide up to six tonnes of improved oxygen supply to the Blanket Carbon-in-Leach plant which is expected to increase recoveries to approximately 94 percent.
“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,” said Mr Curtis.
Meanwhile, in the third quarter of 2019, the miner reported a 7,3 percent increase on the ounces produced, but, was 3,2 percent lower than the same three months of 2018.
Mr Curtis told investors that the miner maintains guidance to produce some 50 000 to 53 000 ounces for the full year and remains on track to reach 80 000 ounces per year by 2022.
“Production in the third quarter of 2019 was slightly below our target but showed steady growth in production on the previous two quarters,” said Mr Curtis.
He noted a difficult start to the quarter caused by significant electricity supply problems in July and early August but highlighted that the situation had improved substantially later in the quarter.
He added: “We are very pleased to have completed the shaft sinking phase of the central shaft project during the quarter, a significant milestone for our business.
“The shaft has now entered the equipping phase of the project which we expect to be completed in mid-2020.”
“We look forward to commencing production from the central shaft during the second half of 2020 which is expected to deliver the company’s growth plan to achieve 75 000 ounces in 2021 and 80 000 ounces by 2022.”