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Caledonia Mining sees earnings boost in first quarter

The Zimbabwe gold miner expects to produce 55-59,000 ounces for the full year
Gold and dollars
The gold miner ended the quarter with US$13.38mln of cash

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (LON:CMCL) told investor that first quarter production, at 12,924 ounces of gold, was marginally higher than the same period of last year.

A stronger gold price and better export terms, meanwhile, sees adjusted earnings some 51% higher year-on-year at 40.1cents per share.

Steve Curtis, Caledonia chief executive, highlighted the “very strong cash generation” at the Blanket mine in Zimbabwe. Operating cash flow amounted to US$7.04mln for the three month period, up 296% from US$1.77mln.

WATCH: Caledonia Mining to see substantial earnings increase from Zimbabwe tax boost

“As we continue to grow production to our target of 80,000 ounces by 2021, maintain cost control and benefit from economies of scale we look forward to further increasing cash flows and earnings,” Curtis said.

"Gold production was marginally higher in the Quarter compared to the first quarter of 2017 and was in-line with our expectations. 

“We expect that production will deliver the usual increase in the second half of the year as we see the benefit of the increased level of mine development in the first half of the year, which will improve our access to higher grade areas.”

He added: "The Central Shaft remains a key enabler of long term value of the business and I am pleased to report that the project is progressing on schedule and within budget and importantly, remains fully funded by operating cash flow.

“For our technical team to deliver production and a transformational project for the business is a significant achievement.

“Following the decision to extend the shaft sinking project in November of 2017 the shaft has now reached 30 Level (990 metres) and work has commenced on establishing the station on this level.”

Caledonia expects to produce between 55,000 and 59,000 ounces of gold for the full year, while earnings are forecast between 165 to 190 cents per share.

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