VICTORIA Falls Stock Exchange-listed Caledonia Mining Corporation has reported “encouraging results” from the ongoing underground drilling programme at Blanket Mine, which targets depth extensions to the Eroica ore body.
Deep level drilling at Blanket Mine, Caledonia’s flagship operation, was suspended several years ago due to underground logistical constraints and the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on contractor operations.
Following completion of the Central Shaft and related infrastructure, deep level drilling resumed in January 2023 and is currently focused on the Eroica ore body where a crosscut has been mined to allow optimal access to drill the deeper zones of the steeply-dipping ore body.
Approximately 5 600 metres of drilling were completed between January 1, 2023 and May 30, 2023, according to a shareholder update released yesterday.
A further approximately 12 900m are planned for the remainder of 2023.
“I am delighted with the results of the drilling campaign so far. In particular, the grades are very encouraging when compared to the historically achieved mining grades from Eroica which have been approximately 4-5g/t (gramme per tonne),” Caledonia chief executive officer Mark Learmonth said.
“The Central Shaft and related infrastructure are vital not only to increase production, but to give us the capacity to restart exploration with a view to extending the life at Blanket Mine. We have invested heavily in Blanket Mine in the last seven years, including investment in 2023 (which will be continued in 2024) in a new tailings facility with an anticipated life of approximately 14 years, to create a mine infrastructure which can sustain production beyond the current production horizon.
“These results are very encouraging and we look forward to receiving results from extension drilling at the Blanket ore bodies and also from the next phase of drilling.”
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At the Eroica zone, the mining firm said drilling from an exploration drive on the 750m level of the mine has focused mainly on converting inferred resources to indicated resources, in addition to drilling areas outside of inferred resources as the mineralisation extends to depth, between 850m and 1 150m below surface.