Caledonia posts lower Q3 earnings as costs rise, gold price weakens

Harare – A lightly weaker gold price and higher production costs contributed to a 17 percent year-on-year decrease in London-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation’s adjusted earnings a share for the third quarter ended September 30 to $0.33.

Gold production of 13 978 oz was 2.9 percent lower year-on-year owing to the lower grade.

Net cash from operating activities remained robust at $6.8-million, although this was lower than the comparable quarter, which had been an unusually strong quarter for the company.

In the period under review net cash was $5.9-million.

On-mine costs increased by 5 percent year-on-year to $670/oz, given higher equipment maintenance costs and increases in the cost of certain consumables.

All-in sustaining costs decreased by 2.5 percent year-on-year to $754/oz, notwithstanding the higher on-mine cost, primarily as a result of a higher export credit incentive (ECI).

Net profit attributable to shareholders of $2.22-million was 28.7 percent year-on-year lower in the quarter, as a result of the higher ECI and reduced administrative expenses.

In a statement accompanying the Company’s results, CEO Steve Curtis said, “The third quarter of 2018 was an improvement on the second quarter of the year. We addressed some of the operating challenges which the business experienced in previous quarters, cost control remained good and Caledonia stabilised its cash position and working capital movements.”

Meanwhile, the 39 558 oz of gold produced for the nine months to September 30 was in line with that produced in the first nine months of 2017.

Caledonia, which operates the Blanket mine, in Zimbabwe, has, however, tightened and slightly reduce its full-year production guidance from between 55 000 oz and 59 000 oz to between 54 000 oz and 56 000 oz.

Caledonia remains on track to achieve the targeted production of 80 000 oz/y by 2021.

Its strategic focus is the central shaft project, which is expected to extend the life-of-mine by providing access to deeper levels for production and further exploration.

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