“The first quarter of 2023 presented several operational challenges at Blanket which resulted in lower production and higher costs,” said CEO Mark Learmonth.
“We are confident these issues have been identified and addressed, and we reiterate our production guidance for Blanket of between 75,000 and 80,000 ounces of gold.
First-quarter results also reflected the cost of putting into production the Bilboes gold operation, 75 kilometres north of Bulawayo.
While Learmonth described initial oxide mining as “disappointing”, he added: “This does not detract from the attraction of the main sulphide project.
“The sulphide resource is based on direct drilling results and has been subjected to independent third-party reviews.
“Caledonia has commenced work on a revised feasibility study for the sulphide project which will consider updated commercial assumptions and will focus on the most judicious way to commercialise this project with the objective of maximising value for Caledonia shareholders.”
EBITDA for the three months ended 31 March 2023 shrank to US$2.25mln compared with US$14.5mln in the same period last year as the on-mine cost increased US$500 an ounce to US$1,196, reflecting the Bilboe start-up costs and Blanket’s technical and operational challenges. – Positive Investors