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Caledonia Mining Corporation expects production uptick in second half

The Zimbabwe-based miner produced approximately 12,522 ounces of gold from the Blanket mine
picture of underground mine
Log jams have affected production at Blanket

Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC (LON:CMCL TSE:CAL) expects to meet its gold production target this year through an improved second half performance.

The Zimbabwe-based miner produced approximately 12,522 ounces of gold from the Blanket mine in the three months to June, about the same amount as a year ago.

Over the half year, output rose by 8.5% to 25,316oz, but Caledonia expects output to rise over the next two quarters.

The target for the year is for production to be between 52,000oz and 57,000oz and to hit 80,000oz by 2021.

Caledonia is digging out a new central shaft at Blanket and operating challenges of combining production with this ongoing underground development affected the first half even though output increased.

Steve Curtis, Caledonia's chief executive, said infrastructure constraints at the 750 metre level had affected its ability to move the larger amounts of ore and development waste.

To deal with that, Caledonia prioritised capital development tonnage over ore production tonnage during the second quarter. 

"The existing infrastructure constraints at Blanket are temporary and are expected to be fully alleviated when the new Central Shaft is commissioned in the second half of 2018.” 

Measures to alleviate the short-term infrastructure constraints should result in a higher quarterly production in the remaining quarters of 2017, Curtis added.

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