Blanket produced 11,948 ounces of gold during the quarter, falling 7.5% year-on-year, which CEO Steve Curtis said was below target, but at a level that allowed Caledonia to maintain its 2019 full year production guidance of 53,000-56,000oz for the Zimbabwean operation.
Curtis attributed the lower production to continued difficulties with the electricity supply and grade dilution experienced in 2018, however, he said improved drilling and blasting practices had been put in place to improve grade control.
"I am pleased to say that efforts to minimise dilution are proving successful," he said
"Our technical team has worked tirelessly to mitigate the effects of electricity supply interruptions and we continue to work closely with the Zimbabwean electricity supply authorities to address these challenges as well as investing internally to improve our resilience to this issue."
Curtis said the sinking of Blanket's central shaft was going according to plan, with completion of the shaft sinking phase only a few months away and shaft equipping due to start from mid-2019.
"We look forward to commencing production from the central shaft from mid-2020 which is expected to deliver the company's growth plan to achieve 75,000oz in 2021 and 80,000oz by 2022."