Caledonia Mining “Delighted” After Record Production From Blanket Mine(Alliance News) – Caledonia Mining Corp is to look at future dividend increases, it said on …

(Alliance News) – Caledonia Mining Corp is to look at future dividend increases, it said on Monday, as the Blanket mine delivered a record quarter.

At the start of January, Caledonia said it would be paying a USD0.075 quarterly dividend, 9.1% higher than the previous figure. This was due to improved financial performance as production improves and gold prices remain high.

Caledonia said on Monday it will be considering future increases following strong performance from the Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe.

The mine produced 16,875 ounces of gold in the last quarter of 2019, a record for the firm. The figure was 24% higher than the quarter before and 13% higher year-on-year.

Caledonia’s total production in 2019 was 55,182 ounces, ahead of guidance of between 50,000 ounces and 53,000 ounces. This guidance was cut in August to 53,000 ounces from 56,000 ounces previously due in part to power issues at Blanket mine.

Looking to 2020, the Jersey-based company sees gold production between 53,000 ounces and 56,000 ounces.

Chief Executive Steve Curtis said: “I am delighted to report a production record at Blanket of 16,867 ounces in the fourth quarter. An improvement in the electricity supply and vigilant focus on grade control and production tonnage have resulted in an excellent production result for the final quarter of which our entire operational staff can be justifiably proud.

“The impressive operational turnaround was achieved without any compromises on safety. This is a commendable achievement given the distractions posed by the challenging conditions experienced by our workers due to the economic environment in Zimbabwe.”

“I am also pleased to see we have not lost this momentum as we start 2020 with the mine continuing to perform very well into the new year. With the improved operational performance and the current buoyant gold prices leading to healthy operating margins we expect Caledonia to continue its track record of strong cash generation,” Curtis continued.

“I expect 2020 to be a landmark year for our business: we look forward to commissioning the central shaft later in 2020 which we anticipate will then deliver increased operating cash flows and reduced capital expenditure will follow.”

Shares were up 0.2% on Monday morning in London at a price of 636.00 pence each.–morningstar.co.uk

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