Oliver Kazunga-Senior Business Reporter
CALEDONIA Mining Corporation, which owns Blanket Mine in Gwanda, remains upbeat about achieving its target production guidance of between 73 000 ounces and 80 000oz this year on account of sustained strong production at the Zimbabwe based gold miner .
In its latest update, the mining group said it declared a quarterly dividend of US$0,14 in the quarter ended June 30, 2022.
Caledonia chief executive officer Mr Mark Learmonth was quoted as saying, “Gold production so far this year has been strong, and we are on track to hit the top end of our guidance range of 73 000 to 80 000oz.
“Although the dividend continues to be a central part of our strategy, l am very excited with the opportunity that we have to evolve our business in Zimbabwe and de-risk it from being a single asset producer.
“I look forward to updating the market of our progress in due course,” he said.
Meanwhile, the mining group said it continues to evaluate investment opportunities in Zimbabwe and elsewhere.
In September last year, Caledonia announced that it had bought the Maligreen gold project in Gweru for US$4 million and projected to spend US$1,6 million more over the next 18 to 24 months exploring the brownfields prospect.
The transaction is the latest in a strategy aimed at diversifying the firm’s production base, presently anchored on Blanket mine.
In December 2020, the company announced it had bought a US$2,5 million option over a gold exploration prospect Glen Hulme, also in Gweru.
On the Maligreen project, Caledonia towards the end of last year announced that it had filed a technical report, which among others summarizes the geological setting, mineralisation, exploration activities, and metallurgical work on the gold project.
The mining group, which is a parent firm to the Gwanda-based Blanket Mine, announced in September last year that it was set to acquire the Maligreen project at a cost of US$4 million from Pan African Mining.
The gold projects by Caledonia are some of the many investments expected to drive the country towards the attainment of a US$12 billion mining economy by 2023 to which the yellow metal is expected to contribute US$4 billion.
The mining sector is one of the vital centrepieces to drive the country towards an upper middle-income economy.
When the Government launched the US$12 billion mining strategic roadmap in 2019 the value of Zimbabwe’s minerals’ contribution to the economy was US$2,7 billion but the figure sharply rose to US$5,3 billion last year.
The Government projects that the value of minerals will this year close the year at US$8 billion. Notably, gold is Zimbabwe’s single largest export earner and together with platinum the precious metals account for more than half of total annual export earnings.