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B2Gold’s Fekola mine production ahead of schedule

Published by
Global Mining Review,

B2Gold Corp.’s Fekola mine in Mali has achieved commercial production on 30 November 2017, one month ahead of the revised schedule and four months ahead of the schedule announced in the optimised feasibility study (OFS).

Ramp up to full-scale production at Fekola remains ahead of schedule with gold production well above budget in each of the ramp-up months, beating original recovery, grade and plant availability estimates in the OFS design. To 30 November, the Fekola mine has produced approximately 80 000 oz of gold, approximately 158% above budget (31 000 oz). Gold production from the Fekola mine in 2017 is now forecast to be between 100 000 and 110 000 oz, far surpassing the upper end of the original guidance of 45 000 to 55 000 oz. Based on current assumptions and updates to B2Gold's current year guidance and long-term mine plans, the company is now projecting consolidated gold production in 2017 of between 580 000 and 625 000 oz.

In 2018, consolidated gold production is forecast to be between 925 000 – 975 000 oz. This represents an increase in annual consolidated gold production of approximately 58% for B2Gold in 2018 versus 2017. Annual consolidated cash operating costs and all-in sustaining costs for 2018 are forecast to decrease in 2018 to approximately US$525 per ounce and $800 per ounce, respectively.

The estimated overall production from the Fekola mine for 2017 is now projected to be between 100000 – 110 000 oz. Commercial gold production in 2017 will include a projected 25 000 oz in December 2017. This number is lower than the production in October and November 2017, due to a planned shutdown to finalize operational changes. The routine shutdown is expected to last six to seven days.

Based on the life of mine plan in 2018, the first full year of Fekola production, the company is projecting production of approximately 400 000 to 410 000 oz of gold from the Fekola mine with low projected cash operating costs and AISC of approximately US$354/oz and US$609/oz, respectively.

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