Gold production jumped to 13,891 ounces (oz) in the three months to 31 December from 11,515oz in the year-ago period, supported by output at the Blanket mine in Zimbabwe, in which Caledonia owns a 49% stake.
The group also achieved record full year gold production, which rose to 50,351 oz in 2016 from 42,804 oz the prior year.
“Caledonia finished 2016 with a strong quarter with Blanket producing 13,591 ounces at an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) of $843 per ounce, a new quarterly production record for the mine,” said chief executive Steve Curtis.
“Full year 2016 production of 50,351 ounces at an AISC of $912 per ounce also represents a new annual production record for Blanket and is an achievement for which all of our staff can be justifiably proud.”
Gross profit in the fourth quarter rose to US$6.8mln from US$3.4mln and adjusted basic earnings per share (EPS) rose to 7.8c from 1.1c.
A robust fourth quarter supported full year growth with gross profit increasing to US$23.4mln from US$12.1mln and adjusted basis EPS rising to 21.4c from 8.8c.
The average realised gold price in the final three months rose to US$1,187 per oz from US$1,083 per oz a year ago while production costs fell to US$6.8mln from US$7.1mln.
Across the year gold prices averaged US$1,232 per oz, compared to US$1,139 per oz in 2015. Production costs in the full year rose to US$32.1mln from US$30.1mln.
The company ended the year with a stronger balance sheet with net cash rising to US$6.9mln in the fourth quarter from $2.3mln the previous year. For the full year, net cash jumped to US$23.0mln from US$6.8mln in 2015.
Caledonia maintained a full year dividend of 5.5c.
On the outlook for 2017, Curtis said the company expects to post a 7% increase in full year production to 60,000 oz as the ramp-up at Blanket towards 80,000 oz by 2021 continues. Caledonia estimates 2017 AISC of US$810 to US$850 per oz, down 11% on 2016.
“”Caledonia remains well positioned for future growth and continues to evaluate investment opportunities as they arise. I look forward to updating the market with our continued progress over the course of 2017,” Curtis said.
Story by ProactiveInvestors