- Caledonia Mining maintained its full-year output guidance even as gold production slipped in the first quarter of the year.

For the three months ended 31 March, gold production fell 8% as production was adversely affected by lower grade, although this was anticipated as part of the mine plan, the company said.

Consolidated operating profit before tax rose 105% to $12.3m, although this increase was entirely 'due to exceptional gains of $3.3 million on foreign exchange following the devaluation of the domestic Zimbabwean currency and a profit on the sale of a subsidiary of $5.4m,' the company said.

The company maintained its output guidance for the full-year, on expectations for improved production in the remaining quarters of the year.

'We maintain our full year production guidance of 53,000 - 56,000 ounces for 2019. I look forward to an improved cost performance in the remaining quarters of the year as we anticipate that the beneficial effects of improved production will be felt in the subsequent quarters of 2019,' said Steve Curtis, Caledonia Chief Executive Officer.

'The early part of the Quarter was made more challenging by some significant macroeconomic disruptions. In particular, the continuation of the currency peg between domestic currency and the US dollar caused severe hardship to our employees in Zimbabwe due to their reduced purchasing power which had repercussions for employee morale.'

'Unit costs in the Quarter, although higher than the comparable quarter of 2018, were largely as expected. Blanket's relatively high fixed costs component makes our business particularly sensitive to production volumes. On-mine cash costs per ounce of $794 and AISC of $943 were 15.6 per cent and 13.3 per cent higher respectively than the comparable quarter in 2018 although in line with budget.'

At 9:47am: [LON:CMCL] Caledonia Mining Corp share price was 0p at 440p

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