Caledonia Mining Stock falls 14% after warning of higher costs at Zimbabwe gold mine

Caledonia Mining Stock falls 14% after warning of higher costs at Zimbabwe gold mine

By Agencies

New York-listed Shares of Caledonia Mining fell after the gold miner said higher costs at its Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe will weigh on near-term earnings.

The stock slipped more than 14% to $8.80 in premarket trading. Through Friday, shares were already down almost 25% from a year ago.

The company said the Blanket Mine performed well last year and that revenue should be in line with analysts’ expectations. However, operating costs for the year rose and there were a number of one-off charges in the final three months of the year that dragged profit down.

Overtime payments for workers at the mine were higher than management expected, as were power costs. Staff-termination costs also were higher than the company expected, Caledonia said. Higher financing costs as well as a one-off impairment charge related to a tax refund claim at the Blanket Mine solar project also hit Caledonia’s bottom line.

The company said many of these costs won’t carry over into 2024, and said it is introducing measures to reduce electricity costs.

Mark Learmonth, Chief Executive Officer, commented: “It is regrettable that, at a group level, we have been adversely affected by a series of higher-than-expected costs in the second half of 2023 which have had a negative effect on the full year profitability.

“The performance of Blanket Mine remains strong and, notwithstanding some unforeseen overtime and power cost issues in the second half, has met guidance and produced a robust performance for the second half of 2023.”

He added; “A number of the other cost items are not anticipated to be recurring, whereas others have arisen from our decisions to invest in the business, most notably around personnel and advancing the Bilboes sulphide project.

“I am confident that many of these will not recur in 2024 which has started positively and I look forward to the future with optimism as we pursue our goal of becoming a multi-asset production company.”

Caledonia said it expects to report full quarterly results on or before March 28.