Projects

Fekola Project – Mali (1)

Property Location and Access:

The Fekola Project is situated in southwestern Mali, on the border between Mali and Senegal. The Fekola deposit is located about 210 kilometres (“km”) south of Kayes and approximately 40 km south of the city of Kéniéba, in the Kayes Region. From Bamako, the Malian capital, it is about a 480 km drive along the Millennium Highway to Kéniéba, then 40 km along a newly-completed two-way traffic road from the Millennium Highway to the mine site. The mine can also be accessed by road from Dakar in Senegal. The mine is also serviced by a purpose-built gravel airstrip. 

Key Project Highlights:

On October 3, 2014, B2Gold successfully completed the scheme of arrangement (“Merger”) by which the Company acquired all of the issued shares of Papillon Resources Limited. After completing an optimised feasibility study(2) in June 2015 (click here for details), B2Gold commenced construction of its fifth and flagship mine, with initial construction activities in February 2015, followed by the official ground-breaking in November 2015. The Fekola Project mine construction remains approximately three months ahead of schedule and on target for an October 1, 2017, production start. Fekola remains on budget and is expected to be a large low-cost producer and should enable the Company to significantly reduce its longer term cash operating costs(3) per ounce and all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”)(3) per ounce.

Gold production under the Fekola Feasibility Study was expected to average 276,000 ounces per year over the life of the Fekola Project with an average of 350,000 ounces per year over the first seven years. The open-pit phase designs and production plans were subsequently updated to correspond to the updated Mineral Resource model and Mineral Reserve, in addition to a mill capacity increase from 4 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”) to 5 Mtpa. Based on the updated production plans(4), the Fekola Project is projected to produce an average of 375,000 to 400,000 ounces of gold per year for the first five years of production (2018 to 2022) and 365,000 to 390,000 ounces per year over the first seven years of production (2018 to 2024). The mining schedule has been adjusted to ensure sufficient feed for the October 1, 2017, start date. Mining rates will not materially change to supply the 5 Mtpa plant, as the additional material will be diverted from planned stockpiles. Under the 5 Mtpa updated production plan, the initial mine life for the Fekola Project is expected to be approximately ten years. B2Gold is currently updating the life-of-mine plan for the Fekola Project to include updated mineral reserves, updated mining production schedule, 5 Mtpa process throughput, current costs and reconciliation to actual construction and pre-stripping progress. The updated cost model is expected to be completed by the end of the third quarter of 2017. For additional information regarding the feasibility study and the anticipated production at Fekola, readers should click here for the Company’s AIF 2017.

Second Quarter 2017 – Fekola Construction Update:

In the second quarter of 2017, the B2Gold construction team continued to fast track development at Fekola. At the end of the second quarter, the project was estimated to be more than 90% complete. Installation of the ball and SAG mill at the process plant continues to progress with the shells, trunnions and gears installed. Rubber lining and inner liner installation of both mills has commenced. Concrete progress and structural steel erection at the mill is approximately 99.7% and 99% complete, respectively. Concrete work, plate work and structural steel erection at the primary crusher and stockpile feed conveyor have been completed while mechanical work at the crusher remains ongoing. Installation of pipework, mechanical equipment and electrical work continues site wide with overall completion rates of approximately 84%, 42% and 75%, respectively. Installation of the underground utilities is largely complete and drainage work around the plant site has commenced. Erection of the various buildings around the site continued to progress with a completion rate of approximately 70% at the end of June 2017.

Construction of the Phase 1 Tailings Storage Facility (“TSF”), including all associated infrastructure, is now 100% complete. The two remaining decant structures within the basin of the TSF have been completed and a submersible pump has been installed in decant tower No. 1. As the tailings level rises and the first decant tower is decommissioned, the submersible pump will be pulled and re-installed in the second decant tower. Construction of the Phase 1 emergency spillway as well as excavation of the tailings line and return water line trench is also complete. All the site ponds, including the storm-water pond, reclaim and event pond and the dump pond have been lined with HDPE geomembrane and QAQC tested.

Development of the open pit continued ahead of schedule, with a total of 4.2 million tonnes of waste and 500,000 tonnes of ore mined during the quarter with waste stripping and ore stockpiles well ahead of schedule. The Company believes that the existing stockpile levels and grade of stockpiled ore mean that Fekola is well positioned to feed the upsized 5 Mtpa Fekola mill upon start up and achieve the 2017 production range of 50,000 to 55,000 ounces. Surface haul roads have been prepared for the rainy season, and the ROM pad is complete. The second phase of RC grade control drilling is in progress. Pre-stripping has been completed in phases 1 and 2.

Recent News Releases:

Please click here for the full news release "B2Gold Corp. Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results; Achieves Both Higher Gold Production and Lower Costs than Budget; Fekola Project Mine Construction Remains on Target for an October 1, 2017, Production Start", dated August 9, 2017.

Click here for details on the Fekola “Exploration" section.

Footnotes (Click to expand)

  1. The disclosure contains forward-looking statements. Refer to the Legal section of the website (click here) for caution regarding forward-looking statements and the basis for presentation of Mineral Reserves, Mineral Resources and other technical disclosures
  2. On a 100% pre-tax basis, based on original optimised feasibility study (click here for details on“B2Gold’s NI 43-101 technical report feasibility study on the Fekola Gold Project in Mali”, dated June 30, 2015). Final Fekola ownership is expected to be 80% held by B2Gold and 20% held by the State of Mali
  3. Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” in the Company’s most recently filed Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”). Click here for MD&A
  4. Based on current assumptions

Certain portions of the information provided herein are derived from and based on the technical report entitled “NI 43-101 Technical Report Feasibility Study on the Fekola Gold Project in Mali” that has an effective date of June 30, 2015, and was prepared by Tom Garagan, P.Geo, William Lytle, P.E, Peter Montano, P.E., Ken Jones, P.E., Sandra Hunter, MAusIMM(CP), and David J. T. Morgan, MIEAust CPEng and from our most recent Annual Information Form (“AIF”) – click here for AIF, and are based on the assumptions, qualifications and procedures set out therein. For a more detailed overview of the Fekola Project, please refer to the documents noted above, which are available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov.

Note: For more details on B2Gold’s Fekola Project, click here for the Company’s Annual Information Form 2017 and click here for the Company's Management’s Discussion and Analysis (these are also available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov). 

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