Caledonia Mining reports gross revenues of $121 million

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (LON:CMCL) has announced its operating and financial results for the year ended December 31, 2021. Further information on the financial and operating results for the Year and the quarter ended December 31, 2021 can be found in the Management Discussion and Analysis, and the audited financial statements which are available on the Company’s website and which have been filed on SEDAR.   

 2021 Financial Highlights

·    Gross revenues of $121 million (2020: $100 million).

·    Gross profit of $54.1 million (2020: $46.7 million).

·    EBITDA of $46.4 million (2020: $45.4 million).

·    On-mine cost per ounce of $742 (2020: $744).

·    Normalised all-in sustaining cost per ounce1 (i.e. excluding the effect of the export credit incentive and its successor scheme) of $990 (2020: $967).

·    Adjusted earnings per share1 of 226 cents (2020: 204 cents).

·    Net cash from operating activities of $30.9 million (2020: $30.9 million).

·    Net cash and cash equivalents of $17.2 million (2020: $19.1 million).

·    Total dividend paid of 50 cents per share, a 49 per cent increase from 2020.  

Operating Highlights

·    67,476 ounces of gold produced in the Year (2020: 57,899 ounces); record annual production at Blanket Mine.

·    The Central Shaft was commissioned in the first quarter of 2021 and the final stages of underground development and infrastructure are now being completed.

·    During Q4, Caledonia completed the acquisition of the mining claims at Maligreen in the Zimbabwe midlands which is estimated to host a NI 43-101 compliant inferred mineral resource of approximately 940,000 ounces of gold in 15.6 million tonnes at a grade of 1.88g/t[2].

Post Year-End events and Outlook

·    Regrettably, a fatal accident occurred on February 21, 2022.  The Directors and management of Caledonia and Blanket express their sincere condolences to the family and colleagues of the deceased.  Caledonia takes the safety of its employees very seriously and, accordingly, measures have been taken to reinforce adherence to prescribed safety procedures.

·    2022 gold production guidance of between 73,000 and 80,000 ounces.

·    Progress on the 12MWac solar plant has resumed following delays arising from the combined effects of COVID-19 and difficulties with the supply chain.  The plant is expected to provide approximately 27 per cent of Blanket’s total daily electricity demand, improve Blanket’s security of electricity supply and reduce its environmental footprint. It is anticipated that the project will be commissioned in June 2022.  

·    Following the installation of a further autotap transformer in December 2021, Blanket’s consumption of diesel to generate electricity has substantially reduced.

Conference Call

Management will host a conference call on 21 March to discuss its 2021 results and the outlook for the Company.  The details for this call are set out towards the end of this announcement.

There will also be a results presentation video with management that will be available on the Caledonia website at https://www.caledoniamining.com/media/#corpvideos

Steve Curtis, Caledonia Mining Chief Executive Officer, commented:

“Operationally, the last 12 months have marked a turning point for the business. The Central Shaft has been a huge project costing approximately $67 million, all funded through internal cashflow and I am delighted that it was commissioned in the first quarter of 2021.

“Production in the Year was 67,476 ounces, which was above the top end of the guidance range and was a new record for annual production.  The robust operating performance was supported by good cost control and gross profit for the Year was $54.1 million – 16 per cent higher than 2020.  Cash generated from operations before working capital increased by 17 per cent from $42.4 million to $49.6 million.

“Now that the Central Shaft is commissioned, we expect further increases in production: guidance for 2022 is a range of 73,000 to 80,000 ounces while from 2023 onwards it is 80,000 ounces[3] – 38 per cent higher than in 2020.

“We continued to increase the dividend in 2021. The total dividends paid in 2021 were 50 cents per share – almost 50 per cent higher than in 2020. 

“To improve the quality and security of Blanket’s electricity supply, minimise our environmental footprint and help create a more sustainable future for our business, Caledonia is constructing the first phase of a 12 MWac solar plant that will provide approximately 27 per cent of the average daily electricity demand at Blanket Mine. This project, which is expected to yield a modest return to shareholders, is expected to be completed in mid-2022.

“Caledonia’s immediate strategic focus is to complete the remaining underground development associated with the Central Shaft project, which is expected to increase production, reduce operating costs and increase the flexibility to undertake further exploration and development at depth, thereby safeguarding and enhancing Blanket’s long-term future. We also believe there is excellent exploration potential in the older shallower areas of the mine and in brownfield sites immediately adjacent to the existing Blanket footprint.   

“During the Year we acquired the mining claims at Maligreen in the Zimbabwe midlands which is estimated to host a NI 43-101 compliant inferred mineral resource of approximately 940,000 ounces of gold in 15.6 million tonnes at a grade of 1.88g/t.  Our immediate focus on this asset is to improve the confidence level of the existing resource base and we are currently re-assaying historic drill cores.  Thereafter we expect to prepare a feasibility study to commercialise the existing resource before we engage in further exploration on the claims area along strike, at depth and at a previously unexplored zone in the claims area.

“Our approach to new projects is highly disciplined: after further evaluation, the Company has decided not to exercise the options to acquire the Connemara North property as it does not meet our investment criteria. During the Year, we also divested non-core assets in the vicinity of Blanket.  Caledonia continues to evaluate further investment opportunities in the Zimbabwe gold sector with a view to transforming the Company into a mid-tier, multi-asset Zimbabwe-focussed gold producer.”      

[1] 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.

[2] Refer to technical report entitled “Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc NI 43-101 Mineral Resource Report on the Maligreen Gold Project, Zimbabwe” by Minxcon (Pty) Ltd dated November 2, 2021 and filed on SEDAR on November 5, 2021.

[3] 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.

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