Canadian exploration and development company Caledonia Mining has installed and commissioned an oxygen plant at the Blanket mine in Zimbabwe.

According to the company, the oxygen plant will not only boost metallurgical recovery but, also cut down cyanide consumption at the mine site.

Based on the test work conducted at the mine, it is expected that the Carbon-in-Leach plant will increase the metallurgical recoveries at the Blanket mine to around 94%.

According to the company, the average recoveries have increased to 93% this year.

Caledonia Mining CEO Steve Curtis said: “We are pleased to have successfully commissioned the new oxygen plant at Blanket and look forward to improved operating efficiencies as a result.

“This marks the latest in a series of investments to increase production and improve operating proficiency at Blanket as we continue our growth trajectory to 80,000 ounces per annum by 2022.

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By GlobalData

“We also anticipate that the oxygen plant will result in slightly lower operating costs as cyanide consumption is expected to be reduced as a result of the improved oxygen supply, and the operating costs of the new oxygen plant are predicted to be lower than those of the previous two-tonne plant.”

In February 2018, the company suspended production in a section of the Blanket gold mine after the death of a worker in a mining-related incident.

In the same year, Caledonia reported a 13% upgrade to the resource base at the Blanket mine. It also signed a binding agreement to purchase Fremiro Investments’ 15% shareholding in the mine in November 2018.

The mine produced 54,512oz of gold in 2018 and is likely to produce 53,000-56,000oz this year.