Harare - Canadian-based mining house Caledonia Mining Corporation has announced the completion of the indigenisation of its Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe.
In February 2012 Caledonia and Blanket signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Zimbabwean ministry of youth, development and empowerment, pursuant to which indigenous Zimbabweans would acquire 51% ownership of Blanket for a paid transactional value of $30.09m.
Completion of the various indigenisation agreements was subject to approval by the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe (RBZ) of the transactions contemplated in the MoU, underlying agreements and related transactions to give effect to the indigenisation programme.
The programme included the repatriation of funds and interest to Caledonia in terms of the share sale transactions.
In a statement released on Thursday, Caledonia said it is pleased to announce that RBZ approval has been received and accordingly, the various agreements and related transactions have now been implemented.
Commenting on the completion of indigenisation at Blanket, Caledonia president and CEO Stefan Hayden said: "I am very pleased that the implementation of indigenisation at Blanket has now been completed.
“We welcome our new indigenous Zimbabwean partners, with whom we look forward to developing a mutually beneficial relationship.
“The newly indigenised Blanket is in a unique position amongst Zimbabwean gold miners as Blanket has significant growth potential which can be funded from internal cash flows.
“Blanket can now finalise and implement its growth and development strategy to grow its operations for the benefit of all stakeholders," said Hayden.
Meanwhile, Blanket Mine increased its gold output for the third quarter to end-September to 12 919 ounces, the highest in nearly a century, driven by firm bullion prices on the international market.
Said Hayden: “The record gold production achieved during the quarter is the highest quarterly gold production ever achieved by the Blanket Mine since its first recorded year of production in 1906.”
The company this week said production of gold during the period under review was up 33% compared to the same period last year.
The figure was, however, 12% up compared to the 11 560 oz produced during the preceding quarter.
Total gold production for the nine months to September 30 2012 was 33 643 oz, a 33% increase over the gold production in the first nine months of 2011 (25 331 oz).
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