Caledonia Mining has announced gold production from its 49% owned subsidiary the Blanket Mine in Zimbabwe increased by 10.6% during the fourth quarter of 2015.

The mine produced around 11,518oz of gold during the quarter representing a rise on the gold produced in the fourth quarter of 2014.

Caledonia said total gold production for 2015 was 42,806oz, a 2.5% increase over the annual gold production in 2014 of 41,771oz.

Caledonia Mining CEO Steve Curtis said: "The increased production reflects the continued progress in implementing the revised investment plan, announced on 3 November 2014.

"Target production for 2016 of 50,000oz represents an increase of 17% from production achieved in 2015."

"The completion of the tramming loop on 22-level (750m below surface) slightly ahead of schedule in mid-2015 was an important factor, which contributed to the increased production by alleviating the underground logistical problems which constrained production in 2014.

"Target production for 2016 of approximately 50,000oz represents an increase of approximately 17% from the production achieved in 2015."

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Blanket Gold Mine located in the south-west of Zimbabwe, 15km west of Gwanda was acquired by Caledonia from Kinross Gold with effect from April 2006.

The mine operates at a depth of about 750m below surface and produced around 45,500oz of gold in 2013.

Blanket also holds brownfield exploration and development projects on the existing mine area, as well as on its satellite properties.

Caledonia announced a revised investment plan in November 2014 for the mine in terms of which production is expected to increase to about 80,000oz of gold by 2021.