Can you provide a brief background of Caledonia and discuss your key focus for 2019?

Caledonia has a long history and was previously a diversified junior company with projects in Zambia, Scotland, and South Africa. However, we acquired the Blanket mine in 2006, which has proven to be a fantastic investment. Now, our primary focus is on the Blanket mine in Zimbabwe and investing in Zimbabwe as an attractive destination for mining investments.

Are there any plans to expand your portfolio within the Southern Africa region?

Caledonia’s current objective is to expand our existing asset, the Blanket mine, rather than looking outside of Zimbabwe. We are exploring deeper beneath the mine to extend the resource, a strategy that has been successful in recent years. Our production has grown from 25,000 ounces to 55,000 ounces, and we are investing heavily to reach 80,000 ounces by 2021. We are also exploring satellite projects near the mine, which could add another 10,000 to 20,000 ounces per year. Additionally, we aim to take advantage of excess cyanide capacity at the mill by upgrading the plant to process the satellite deposits within a ten kilometer radius of the mine, thus increasing overall production.

Do you see any exploration opportunities beyond your current projects in Zimbabwe?

Zimbabwe is a region with significant exploration potential that has been largely under-explored. Prior to 2000, Zimbabwe was the third largest gold producer on the continent. Unfortunately, investment in the country has been limited over the past 18 years. There are existing mines with abundant resources that require capital injection to thrive. While greenfield exploration is a long-term consideration, our immediate interest lies in acquiring and developing existing mines.

With the departure of Robert Mugabe, where is the new investment interest in Zimbabwe coming from, and how do you expect interest to evolve with upcoming political changes?

Investment interest in our project has picked up from the United States and Europe, mainly in the places where we are listed for trading. We are now able to secure meetings that were not possible last year. The President’s commitment to changing indigenization laws and making Zimbabwe more attractive has generated optimism. Legislative changes are being implemented to follow up on these commitments, and we anticipate that policy changes will begin to align with legislative changes throughout 2018 and 2019.

You mentioned that monetary policy will be critical for Zimbabwe to recognize its potential. Could you provide further insight into this?

Liquidity and exchange controls pose significant challenges, particularly for gold miners. Caledonia is fortunate as a gold producer because we bring dollars into the country through exporting and selling our gold. The government recognizes the importance of allowing the mining industry to operate with foreign currency to procure materials and generate gold. However, other industries face more difficulties. The inability to transfer funds out of the country creates reluctance for investments. Tricky exchange controls hinder people from investing in Zimbabwe.

Are there any other commodities that Caledonia would consider exploring, diversifying from precious metals?

Caledonia intends to stay within the precious metals realm, primarily focusing on gold. Platinum, while attractive, requires more capital investment, and our current size does not make it feasible yet. We believe that shareholders can diversify their investments more easily than we can diversify our operations. Our strategy is to manage a successful gold mining business and let shareholders diversify as they see fit. We have learned from past experiences in diversified mining and understand the importance of avoiding dilution of investment risks.

What is your long-term vision for Caledonia moving forward?

Our vision is to deliver on the Blanket mine project, making us one of the most profitable and cash-flow positive junior mining companies in the sector. Beyond that, we aim to find attractive investment opportunities for further growth. However, we recognize the mining industry’s tendency to squander profits from successful mines on less promising ventures. Therefore, discipline and patience will guide our decision-making process. Successfully delivering on the Blanket mine project will provide us with a solid cash flow for 10 to 12 years or longer, enabling us to increase dividends and maintain a favorable position in the market.

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