Caledonia Mining’s (LON:CMCL TSE:CAL) gold production rose in 2015 despite work on a major upgrade to the Blanket mine in Zimbabwe.
Production for the year was 42,800 ounces, against 41,800 and all largely down to higher output in the fourth quarter of 11,510 oz (10,417).
Grades were lower on average over the year, which pushed up costs, while revenues were also affected by the lower gold price though this has since recovered.
Steve Curtis, Caledonia's chief executive, said the weak gold price had made it a challenging year but the mine had still generated cash and production was 2% higher than target.
Revenues in 2015 were US$49mln compared to US$53.5mlm, while profits dropped to US$8.5mln from US$12.1mln.
Curtis added that investment at the 49% owned Blanket had risen to almost US$17mln in 2015 as part of the plan to increase annual output to 80,000oz per year by 2021.
“Production from below 750 meters is expected to increase progressively in the remainder of 2016 and 2017 and will contribute to the higher targeted production of approximately 50,000 ounces of gold in 2016 and approximately 65,000 ounces of gold in 2017.
Costs are also expected to fall from the all-in-sustaining level of $1,038 per ounce of gold as production rises.
In spite of the record production, resources at the mine were largely unchanged.