Shaft sinking complete at Caledonia Mining’s Blanket gold mine

Shaft sinking at the new Central Shaft at Caledonia Mining’s 49%-owned Blanket gold mine, in Zimbabwe, has been completed, the company reports.

The Central Shaft project has been in progress since early 2015, with Caledonia spending some $44 million sinking a new shaft from surface to a depth of over 1,200 m.

Sinking of the shaft was predicated on increasing gold production to 80,000 oz/y of gold, compared with 54,512 oz produced in 2018 and the 53,000-56,000 oz expected in 2019.

The project now moves to the equipping phase prior to commissioning, which is expected during the September quarter of 2020, the company noted. Production from Blanket mine is then expected to progressively increase to the target 80,000 oz/y of gold from 2022 onwards.

“The company expects the increased production, combined with economies of scale and lower future capital investment, will result in significant increases in Caledonia’s profit and distributable cash,” it said.