El Limon mine - Nicaragua
Open Pit and Underground, 95% B2Gold Ownership
FY 2016 Update:
For the full-year 2016, El Limon mine produced 45,483 ounces of gold, below its production guidance range (of 50,000 to 60,000 ounces) and 13% (or 6,781 ounces) lower compared to 2015. In 2016, El Limon’s production was negatively affected by mine fleet availability limitations and water control issues which reduced ore flow from Santa Pancha. As a result, mill feed was supplemented with lower grade ore from surface stockpiles. To improve overall mine performance, the operations and maintenance areas have been reorganized and additional mining equipment has been purchased. The underground pumping system has also been overhauled and the dewatering wells are currently being improved.
El Limon’s full-year 2016 cash operating costs(1) were $781 per ounce of gold, above the high end of its revised cost guidance range (of $690 to $730 per ounce) and $68 per ounce (or 10%) higher compared to the prior-year. The increase was mainly due to lower gold production.
El Limon’s full-year 2016 all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”)(1) were $1,189 per ounce of gold, compared to budget of $1,008 per ounce and $1,279 per ounce in the prior-year.
Q4 2016 Update:
El Limon’s fourth quarter 2016 production was 10,007 ounces of gold, compared with 8,903 ounces in the fourth quarter of 2015. El Limon’s fourth quarter 2016 cash operating costs were $982 per ounce of gold (Q4 2015 - $958 per ounce). AISC were $1,501 per ounce (Q4 2015 - $1,466 per ounce).
El Limon’s 2017 production is forecast to be between 50,000 and 60,000 ounces of gold (compared to 45,483 ounces produced in 2016). Cash operating costs are expected to be between $655 and $695 per ounce of gold. AISC are expected to be between $1,065 and $1,095 per ounce.
Recent News Releases:
Please click here for the full news release “B2Gold Reports 2016 Fourth Quarter and Full-Year Results; Achieves 2016 Record Gold Production, Record-Low Cash Operating Costs and Record Operating Cash Flow; Outlook Provides for Very Strong Gold Production Growth Profile by 2018”, dated March 16, 2017.
- Refer to "Non-IFRS measures"
El Limon mine is located in northwestern Nicaragua approximately 100 km northwest of Managua, the capital of Nicaragua. EL Limon mine property consists of the 12,000 hectare “Mina El Limon” mineral concession that has a term of 25 years expiring in April 2027. Each mineral concession under the Nicaraguan Mining Code is subject to an agreement issued by the government of Nicaragua that includes the rights to explore, develop, mine, extract, export and sell the mineral commodities found and produced from the concession.
B2Gold holds an indirect 95% interest in Triton Minera S.A. (“Triton”), which owns and operates El Limon mine, and holds three other mineral concessions Bonete-Limon, San Antonio and Villanueva 2 which cover a total of 7,200 hectares, all at an exploration stage. The remaining 5% of Triton is held by Inversiones Mineras S.A. (“IMISA”). Triton directly owns or controls the surface rights for all of the property upon which the current mining, milling, tailings and related facilities at EL Limon mine are located. Triton also owns a portion of the surface rights for other properties. As required, Triton has negotiated and entered into access agreements with individual surface right holders in respect of those properties for which it does not hold the surface rights within the concession. All of the permits required for exploration, mining and milling activities are in place for El Limon mine. RG Exchangeco Inc., a subsidiary of Royal Gold, Inc., holds a 3% net smelter returns (“NSR”) royalty on the gold production from EL Limon mine and certain other concessions. The revenue from EL Limon mine is also subject to a 3% ad valorem tax on gold production payable to the Government of Nicaragua, which is considered a deductible expense for purposes of computing corporate income tax. Net profit is defined as the excess of gross revenue (being all revenue received from the operation by Triton Mining (USA), LLC of its business) over expenses (being specified as costs incurred and charged as expenses by Triton Mining (USA), LLC arising from its business, including working capital and operating expenses, royalties paid, borrowing costs, taxes and general sales and administrative expenses).
Gold mining in EL Limon district began in the 1850s and modern mining and exploration began in 1918. Production from EL Limon mine has been continuous since 1941.