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Caledonia is an African focused mining and exploration company with an operating gold mine in Zimbabwe, a copper-cobalt exploration project in Zambia and two platinum-nickel exploration projects in South Africa. Caledonia is listed on the TSX (CAL), and on AIM (CMCL) and its shares are traded on the NASDAQ-OTCQX (CALVF).
Caledonia Mining installs first standby generator at Blanket gold mine in ZimbabweJune 14 2010, 4:57pm
Caledonia Mining Corporation (TSX:CAL, NASDAQ:CALVF, OTC:CALVF, LON:CMCL) told investors that it has completed the installation and commissioning of the first of several 2.5MVA diesel standby generators, on schedule, at the Blanket gold mine in Zimbabwe.
Due to the significant deterioration of continuity of electricity supplies over the past few months, the company decided to accelerate its program to install standby diesel generating capacity in early May. With the first generator now installed, Caledonia will be able to continue operation of its mining activities and equipment installation necessary to complete the No. 4 shaft expansion.
The Blanket mine currently relies exclusively on the Zimbabwe Electricity Supply Authority’s 33kV supply to run all of its operations. According to Caledonia, the power outages increased from approximately five hours per day in February to over nine hours per day in May.
Furthermore, the increased frequency, coupled with the unpredictability and duration of power outages, had an adverse effect both on gold production and on the underground installations for the No. 4 shaft expansion project.
Caledonia said that the Blanket mine has sufficient surplus milling capacity to achieve its current production target if power outages continue to be experienced at the current level.
Once the No. 4 shaft project is complete, the company plans to install additional diesel generating capacity, in order to provide sufficient standby generating capacity to maintain its increased production target of 40,000 ounces of gold per annum, “even if electricity outages continue to be experienced at the current level or deteriorate further”.
Additionally, the company acknowledged that its plans will remain under constant review as the electricity supply circumstances change.
Caledonia’s issues with power shortages in Zimbabwe are not a localised problem. Fellow Zimbabwe gold producer, New Dawn Mining Corp (TSX: ND), recently installed diesel generators at its Turk Mine to address the same issue.