Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (LON:CMCL) has announced its operating and financial results for the quarter ended March 31st, 2022. Further information on the financial and operating results for the Quarter can be found in the Management Discussion and Analysis and the unaudited interim financial statements which are available on the Company’s website and which have been filed on SEDAR.
· Gross revenues of $35.1 million (Q1 2021: $25.7 million). Higher revenues reflect a 40 per cent increase in production and a six per cent increase in the realised gold price. Revenues include the sale proceeds of 442 ounces (net) of gold in work-in-progress.
· EBITDA of $14.6 million (Q1 2021: $9.7 million).
· On-mine cost of $698 per ounce (Q1 2021: $836 per ounce). Lower cost per ounce was primarily due to higher production, which means that fixed costs are spread across more ounces, improved grade and reduced use of diesel generators.
· All-in sustaining cost1 of $968 per ounce (Q1 2021: $1,044 per ounce).
· Adjusted earnings per share1 of 62.5 cents (Q1 2021: 51.6 cents).
· Net cash from operating activities of $10.2 million (Q1 2021: $2.0 million).
· Net cash and cash equivalents of $14.4 million (Q1 2021: $13.0 million).
· Dividend paid in the Quarter of 14 cents per share, a 27 per cent increase from 11 cents per share paid in Q1 2021. The quarterly dividend has been maintained since October 2021.
· Regrettably, as previously reported, a fatal accident occurred on February 21, 2022. The Directors and management of Caledonia and Blanket Mine (“Blanket”) express their sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased. Caledonia and Blanket take the safety of its employees very seriously and, accordingly, measures have been taken to reinforce adherence to prescribed safety procedures.
· 18,515 ounces of gold produced in the Quarter (Q1 2021: 13,197 ounces). The 40 percent increase in production was due to higher tonnes milled, improved grade and better metallurgical recoveries.
· 6,797 ounces of gold were produced in April 2022 which is an annualised production rate of approximately 81,500 ounces.
· The Central Shaft, which was commissioned in March 2021, is currently hoisting development waste, leaving the No. 4 Shaft free to hoist ore.
· An ore stockpile of approximately 14,000 tonnes, containing approximately 1,500 ounces of recoverable gold, was accumulated during the Quarter. This is not included in the gold production for the Quarter.
· The 12MWac solar project is now in the final phase of construction and is expected to be operational within the next few months.
· 2022 gold production guidance of between 73,000 and 80,000 ounces.
Steve Curtis, Caledonia Mining Chief Executive Officer, commented:
“The first quarter of 2022 was an excellent start to 2022. Gold production in the Quarter represents a new production record for any first quarter. Production in April showed a further improvement: production of almost 6,800 ounces in the month reflects an annualised production rate that is marginally above the top end of our guidance range for 2022 of 73,000 to 80,000 ounces of gold. The higher production reflects increased tonnes milled, better grade and improved recovery. Production in the Quarter excludes approximately 1,500 ounces of recoverable gold contained in an ore stockpile which accumulated during the Quarter as we await the commissioning of an additional mill later in the year.
“Operating costs were well controlled. The on-mine cost per ounce fell by 16 per cent compared to the first quarter of 2021. The reduction was because of higher production, which means that fixed costs are spread over more production ounces; costs were also helped by reduced diesel consumption following the installation of equipment in late 2021 which allows us to manage the poor-quality grid power.
“All-in sustaining costs per ounce were also 7 per cent lower than the first quarter of 2021.
“Following Caledonia’s successful secondary listing on the Victoria Falls Stock Exchange in late 2021, we have increased the proportion of revenues received in USD dollars. This, in conjunction with other arrangements, means that we are not accumulating excessive local currency balances. We have a strong, long-term working relationship with the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe and Fidelity Printers and Refiners (the Zimbabwe government-owned gold refiner) and we are delighted that the payment process for gold deliveries and the regulations that manage the flow of funds from Zimbabwe continue to operate smoothly.
“The Central Shaft, which was commissioned in March 2021, is operating as planned. The shaft is now hoisting waste material arising from the final development to connect the shaft to the production areas. This has relieved pressure on the Number 4 Shaft which can focus on hoisting ore until Central shaft takes over this role later in the year. We are confident we will achieve our production guidance for 2022 of 73,000 to 80,000 ounces.
“Safety remains our primary concern, and I am sorry to report that, after an extended period without any fatal accident, in February 2022, a vehicle accident underground resulted in the death of one employee. We have re-doubled our efforts to ensure that we produce gold as safely as possible.
“Caledonia’s immediate strategic focus is to convert the commissioning of Central Shaft project into higher production, lower costs and increased cash generation. We have made an excellent start in each of these objectives.
“We continue to evaluate further investment opportunities in the gold sector in Zimbabwe, with our long-term vision of becoming a mid-tier, multi-asset gold producer. However, we are highly disciplined in our approach: during the Quarter we decided not to exercise the option over the Connemara North exploration property because our further evaluations suggested that it does not meet our commercial objectives. We continue to evaluate historical information at the Maligreen exploration property with a view to publishing a revised resource statement.”
Conference Call Details
A presentation of the results for the Quarter and outlook for Caledonia is available on Caledonia’s website (www.caledoniamining.com). Management will host a conference call / webinar at 3pm British Summer Time on May 16, 2022.
Details for the call are as follows:
When: May 16, 2022 at 3pm (BST)
Topic: Q1 Results Call for Shareholders
Register in advance for this webinar:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.
 Non-IFRS measures such as “On-mine cost per ounce”, “All-in sustaining cost per ounce” and “adjusted EPS” are used throughout this document. Refer to section 10 of the MD&A for a discussion of non-IFRS measures.
 Refer to the technical report entitled “Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc NI 43-101 Technical Report on the Blanket Gold Mine, Zimbabwe” dated May 17, 2021 prepared by Minxcon (Pty) Ltd and filed by the Company on SEDAR (www.sedar.com) on May 26, 2021.