President Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa will today officially open the Blanket Mine Central Shaft in Gwanda Matabeleland South Province.

Zimbabwe-focused gold producer, Caledonia Mining Corporation, recently announced that the central shaft at its linchpin Blanket Gold Mine in Gwanda was now operational.

The TSX-listed group has a majority stake in the Blanket Mine.

Over the past few months, the group has poured US$67 million using internal cashflow initiatives into Blanket Mine’s five-year central shaft sinking project.

Said chief executive Steve Curtis recently said: “I am delighted to announce that our new central shaft, which is the deepest shaft for any gold mine in Zimbabwe, is fully operational.

“We can now start to hoist rock, men and material on a daily basis, which will solve our hoisting constraints and facilitate the planned expansion in mine capacity targeting 80 000 oz of gold production per year.

“Commissioning the central shaft has been the culmination of a six-year project costing approximately US$67 million, all funded through internal cash flow.

“This has been an owner-funded and built project by the Blanket team and I would like to thank everyone for their hard work and especially for achieving the completion of the shaft without any serious accidents, recording only two lost time injuries.”