HARARE,– Caledonia Mining Corporation, says planned increases in production at 50,000 ounces and 65,000 ounces in 2016 and 2017 respectively are expected to result in a lower average cost of production at its Blanket mine near Gwanda, boosting dividends.
Blanket produced 42,806 ounces in the full year to December, just passing the target of 42,000oz for the year.
In an interview published by Caledonia mining group at the company’s declaration of a dividend, chief executive Steve Curtis said the group is now confident of achieving the target production.
“I am now increasingly confident that the projected production targets of 50,000 ounces in 2016 and 65,000 ounces in 2017 will be realized,” he said.
In late March, he said production had started at Blanket Mine’s ore bodies below 750 meters following completion of the No. 6 Winze.
The decline development into the AR South ore body below 750 meters was also completed which further improved Blanket’s operational flexibility.
The group declared an increased quarterly dividend payout to $0.01375 a share, representing an annualized dividend of 5.5 cents per share compared to the previous annualized dividend of 4.5 cents.
Curtis said the increase was a reflection of confidence that earnings and cash flow will increase.
Production at Blanket mine increased 8,7 percent to 10,822oz in the first quarter of this year.