By Mthandanzo Nyoni

GWANDA-BASED mining concern Blanket intends to invest about US$11,2 million between August and December this year in plant maintenance, central shaft implementation as well as solar plant construction.

Blanket Mine is controlled by the New York Stock Exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation.

“Blanket intends to invest approximately US$11,2 million between August 2020 and December 2020 which is not yet committed and a further US$23 million in the years 2021 and 2022, which is also uncommitted,” Caledonia said in its management’s discussion and analysis report.

“These exclude solar costs of US$7,5 million to be incurred during 2020 and US$4,5 million in 2021. The committed and uncommitted investment will be used to maintain Blanket’s existing operations and implement the central shaft and construct the proposed solar plant,” it said.

Caledonia said committed and uncommitted purchase obligations were expected to be met from cash generated from Blanket’s existing operations and borrowing facilities.

Recently, Caledonia announced that it had managed to raise US$13 million for the construction of the planned 20 megawatt (MW) solar power plant at the mine as part of efforts to tackle power constraints that have hampered the mining industry in recent years.

The company also revealed that it has leased property for its administrative offices in Jersey, Harare and Johannesburg.

Therefore, as of June 30 2020, Caledonia had potential liabilities for rehabilitation work on Blanket — if the mine is permanently closed — at an estimated discounted cost of US$3,3 million.

Caledonia is an exploration, development and mining corporation focused on Zimbabwe.

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