CALEDONIA Mining Corporation (Caledonia) says adjusted earnings per share for 2019 are expected to be up in the range of US$1,55 to US$1,75 due to the continued strengthening of the gold price, among other factors.

“Caledonia is pleased to announce that earnings for 2019 will be substantially higher than market expectations due to the combined effects of the continued strength of the gold price; higher than expected production for 2019; and lower than expected operating costs,” the company said in a statement yesterday.

As a result of these factors, the company said adjusted earnings per share (before net realised and unrealised foreign exchange gains) for 2019 are expected to be in the range of US$1,55 to US$1,75 per share compared to US$0,86 to US$1,17 per share recorded in early 2019.

Caledonia chief executive officer Steve Curtis said he was delighted by the excellent performance of Blanket Mine, particularly in the later stages of 2019, which, combined with the strength of the gold price, has resulted in “us comfortably exceeding expectations for the year ended December 31, 2019”.

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“This is down to the hard work and dedication of our exceptional team operating at the Blanket Mine not least in how they have successfully addressed challenges in the year such as the variable power supply and grade fluctuations,” he said.

With these challenges addressed, Curtis said an excellent start to 2020 and with the development of the Central Shaft continuing on time and a record quarterly production in the fourth quarter, they look forward to an exciting year ahead.

The company recently increased its shareholding in the Gwanda-based mining concern to 64% after finalising the deal it had with Fremiro Investments Private Limited.

The Alternative Investment Market-quoted miner, recently increased its stake in Blanket Mine from 49% to 64% after the completion the acquisition of an additional 15% shareholding from Fremiro Private Limited.