Fekola Mine – Mali (1)

Please note that this page is currently being updated. Please click here for B2Gold's most recent news release re: Q4 & Year-End 2017 Earnings and click here for B2Gold's Q4 & FY 2017 MD&A.

Open Pit

Property Location and Access:

The Fekola Mine 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, located 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.

Fekola Project/Mine Background:

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 (“OFS”)(2,3) 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 Mine was built using the same construction team that had previously completed four gold mines, on schedule and on budget, for B2Gold’s predecessor company (Bema Gold Corporation) and B2Gold. Prior to construction, the Company recognized the exploration potential beyond the initial reserves and decided to build the Fekola mill with a 25% design capacity to allow for future expansion of the mill throughput from 4 million tonnes per annum (“MTPA”) to 5 MTPA for an additional expenditure of approximately $18 million. Due to the success of the Fekola Mine construction (more than three months ahead of schedule and on budget), and further exploration success at Fekola, the Company decided to expedite the expansion and complete it during the construction phase rather than post construction. Total cumulative forecast construction costs for the project (from inception to completion) include pre-construction sunk costs of approximately $41 million, feasibility study construction costs of $462 million and $18 million additional costs for the mill expansion to 5 MTPA. Additionally, another $20 million is expected to be spent on relocating the village of Fadougou.

New Life of Mine (“LoM”) Plan:

On September 25, 2017, the Company announced it had completed a new LoM plan for the Fekola deposit (click here for news release). The new LoM plan projects higher mill throughput and annual gold production, and lower projected operating costs per ounce and all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”)(4) per ounce of gold than the original 4 MTPA plan in the OFS. The new LoM plan was completed based on the expanded 5 MTPA mill throughput and takes into account an early start-up, increased processing throughput, and improved open-pit design and scheduling versus the OFS (see table below).

New Fekola LoM Plan Highlights:

A comparison of the OFS and LoM is as follows:

Parameters(1) OFS – 4 MTPA
(June 2015)
New LoM – 5 MTPA
(September 2017)
LoM Gold Production (million ounces) 3.45 3.45
LoM (years) 12.5 10
Gold Production: LoM (‘000 ounces) 276 345
Gold Production: Years 1-3 (‘000 ounces) 333 400
Gold Production: Years 1-7 (‘000 ounces) 350 374
Cash Operating Costs(2): LoM (US$/oz) 552 428
Cash Operating Costs: Years 1-3 (US$/oz) 464 357
Cash Operating Costs: Years 1-7 (US$/oz) 418 391
AISC: LoM (US$/oz) 752 664
AISC: Years 1-3 (US$/oz) 717 604
AISC: Years 1-7 (US$/oz) 661 643
  • No material change to feasibility Mineral Reserves with the new resource model, pit and phase designs, and production plan. The contained Mineral Reserve remains 3.34 million ounces(3) contained in 43.8 million tonnes at an average grade of 2.37g/t
  • No material change to mining production or fleet size
  • Processing throughput increased to 5 MTPA vs. 4 MTPA in the OFS
  • Significant upside in mine life and ounces produced exists within current resource, with further potential as adjacent and other targets are developed
Footnotes (Click to expand)

  1. Gold production, cash operating costs and AISC are presented on an average annual basis
  2. Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” in the Company’s most recently filed Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”). Click here for MD&A
  3. Mineral Reserves are reported on a 90% attributable basis

Fekola Mine Update 2017:

B2Gold completed construction of the Fekola mill on budget and commenced ore processing at the Fekola Mine, more than three months ahead of schedule, with the first gold pour at Fekola achieved on October 7, 2017 (see news releases dated 09/25/2017 and 10/11/2017, respectively). On December 4, 2017, the Company was pleased to announce that the Fekola Mine had achieved commercial production on November 30, 2017, one month ahead of the revised schedule and four months ahead of the schedule announced in the OFS (see news release dated 12/04/2017).

B2Gold has declared commercial production at the Fekola Mine based on an internal commercial production measure of 30 consecutive days of mill throughput at 65% or greater of nameplate capacity (607 dry tonnes per hour). During the 30 consecutive-day commercial test, the mill achieved an average throughput of 626 dry tonnes per hour. This included an availability for the mill of 95% (budget was 70%) for the test period and a recovery that exceeded 95% (budget was 91%).

Ramp up to full-scale production at the Fekola Mine 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. In October, the first full month of ramp-up and pre-commercial production, the Fekola mill treated 324,525 tonnes of ore (budgeted – 225,804 tonnes) at an average grade of 3.40 g/t (budgeted – 2.33 g/t) with a gold recovery of 95.4% (budgeted – 90.0%), producing a total of 33,946 ounces of gold in the month (surpassing budget of 15,100 ounces). Gold production at Fekola in November 2017 was approximately 40,000 ounces from 426,836 tonnes of ore (budgeted 316,000 tonnes) at an average grade of 3.05 g/t (2.33 g/t budgeted) with gold recoveries of 95.5% (budget 91%). The higher than budgeted grade is a result of the early start to mining (April 2017), allowing the site to stockpile ore and blend mill feed for optimal production. To November 30, 2017, the Fekola Mine has produced approximately 80,000 ounces of gold, approximately 158% above budget (31,000 ounces).

2017 and 2018 Guidance:

Gold production from the Fekola Mine in 2017 is now forecast to be between 100,000 and 110,000 ounces, far surpassing the upper end of the original guidance of 45,000 to 55,000 ounces, and exceeding its reforecast production guidance range of between 50,000 and 55,000 ounces. Commercial gold production in 2017 will include a projected 25,000 ounces 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 LoM plan, in 2018, the first full year of Fekola production, the Company is projecting approximately 400,000 to 410,000 ounces of gold from the Fekola Mine with low projected cash operating costs(4) and AISC of approximately $354 per ounce and $609 per ounce, respectively.

Recent News Releases:

Please click here for the full news release “B2Gold Achieves Commercial Production at the Fekola Mine Ahead of Schedule; Gold Production to date During Ramp Up is Approximately 80,000 Ounces, 158% Above Budget(1),” dated December 4, 2017. 

Please click here for the full news release “B2Gold Reports Strong Third Quarter 2017 Results; New Fekola Mine Achieves First Gold Pour on October 7, 2017, and Gold Production of 40,286 Ounces to October 31 during Ramp-up Phase; Commercial Production at Fekola Anticipated by End of November,” dated November 7, 2017.

Please click here for the full news release “B2Gold Announces First Gold Pour at the Fekola Gold Mine, South West Mali,” dated October 11, 2017.

Please click here for the full news release “B2Gold Corp. Completes Mill Construction More Than Three Months Ahead of Schedule and Announces an Expanded and Updated Mine Plan for the Fekola Mine Located in Southwestern Mali,” dated September 25, 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 OFS (click here for details). Final Fekola ownership is expected to be 80% held by B2Gold and 20% held by the State of Mali
  3. For information regarding the Fekola Feasibility Study and the anticipated production at Fekola, readers should click here for the Company’s Annual Information Form (“AIF”) 2017
  4. Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” in the Company’s most recently filed Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”). Click here for MD&A

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” (click here) 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 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 and on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at

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

Stay Connected

Stay connected with B2Gold by signing up for email updates