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Caledonia Mining lifts dividend as gold mine delivers improved financial performance

Better grades, higher output and elevated gold prices are all factors in Caledonia's improved financial performance.

Caledonia Mining Corporation - Caledonia Mining lifts dividend as gold mine delivers improved financial performance

Caledonia Mining Corporation Plc (LON:CMCL) has announced it is increasing its dividend thanks to an improved financial performance, driven by higher production and better gold prices.

The quarterly dividend increases by 9.1% to 6.875 cents per share.

At the same time, the AIM-quoted miner noted that it expects to commission the Central Shaft at the underground Blanket mine in Zimbabwe during the fourth quarter, and, it will work towards a production target of 80,000 ounces of gold per year by 2022.

Chief executive Steve Curtis told investors that the board will continue to review future dividends as appropriate, as it seeks to strike a balance between shareholder returns, the pursuit of new growth opportunities and prudent financial management.

READ: Caledonia Mining production rises as grades pick up

“As we reported in mid-November 2019 when we published the results for the third quarter of 2019, our financial performance has improved due to increased production and the continued higher gold price,” Curtis said in a statement.

“This improvement has continued through the final quarter of 2019.”

"As we approach the end of the five-year investment programme at Blanket Mine, we anticipate the rate of capital expenditure will begin to reduce from the middle of 2020, which gives us greater flexibility to consider deploying some of our cash reserves on an increased dividend.”

Curtis added: “We expect the Central Shaft to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2020; thereafter we look forward to further increases in operating cash flow as production increases to the target rate of 80,000 ounces of gold per annum from 2022, as capital expenditure falls further and we begin to realise the operational efficiencies arising from the new shaft.”

Quick facts: Caledonia Mining Corporation PLC

Price: 1301 GBX

AIM:CMCL
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £149.82 m
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