La Libertad mine - Nicaragua
Open Pit and Underground, 100% B2Gold Ownership
Q3 2016 Update:
La Libertad mine produced 37,261 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2016, 9% (or 3,014 ounces) above budget and 19% (or 6,027 ounces) higher than the prior-year quarter. The increase was due to better grade.
La Libertad's third quarter 2016 cash operating costs(1) were $637 per ounce of gold, $64 per ounce (or 9%) below budget and $22 per ounce (or 3%) below the prior-year quarter. This was mainly the result of higher gold production and lower stripping costs.
La Libertad's third quarter 2016 all-in sustaining costs(1) were $788 per ounce of gold, below both budget of $908 per ounce and $812 per ounce in the prior-year quarter, reflecting lower cash operating costs and lower capital expenditures and pre-stripping costs.
During the third quarter, La Libertad's mine schedule was modified to mine additional high grade ore from the Jabali Central pit to offset permitting delays at the Jabali Antenna pit. La Libertad mill continues to operate well.
La Libertad's year-to-date(2) 2016 production was 97,266 ounces of gold, 4% (or 3,805 ounces) above budget and 15% (or 13,025 ounces) higher than the prior-year quarter.
La Libertad's year-to-date 2016 cash operating costs were $658 per ounce of gold, $41 per ounce (or 6%) below budget and $106 per ounce (or 14%) below the same period last year.
La Libertad's year-to-date 2016 all-in sustaining costs were $913 per ounce of gold, below both budget of $1,153 per ounce and $1,034 per ounce in the first nine months of 2015.
On May 5, 2016, B2Gold received the 2015 Award for Social Responsibility in Nicaragua for its work on the Jabalí Antena settlement project. The award recognizes the Company’s commitment to social development projects that benefit the local communities in which it operates.
FY 2016 & Beyond:
La Libertad expects to meet its full-year 2016 production and cost guidance range of between 125,000 to 135,000 ounces of gold at cash operating costs of between $650 to $680 per ounce. Budgeted gold production at La Libertad is weighted towards the second half of the year, due to higher anticipated processed grades. Due to the lower than budgeted capital expenditures incurred to date in 2016, full-year 2016 all-in sustaining costs are now expected to be in the range of $900 to $940 per ounce of gold.
With regards to the Jabali Antenna pit, prior to completing the mine permitting process, B2Gold must first finish the related resettlement activities. However, meetings with the Nicaraguan government and stakeholders have been temporarily postponed until after the Nicaraguan presidential election on November 6, 2016. As a result, mining from the Jabali Antenna pit, previously scheduled to begin in the second quarter of 2016, is now forecast to commence in the second half of 2017.
Please click here for the full news release "B2Gold Corp. Reports Q3 2016 Results; Operating Cash Flows Significantly Higher on Record Gold Production, Record Low Costs and Higher Gold Prices; 2016 Guidance Favourably Revised", dated November 3, 2016.
(1) Refer to Non-IFRS measures
(2) Nine months ending September 30, 2016
La Libertad mine is located approximately 110 km due east of Managua, the capital city of Nicaragua and 32 km northeast of Juigalpa. The property is situated near the town of La Libertad in La Libertad-Santo Domingo Region of the Department of Chontales in Central Nicaragua. Access to the La Libertad property is 201 km by paved road from Managua to Juigalpa, the capital city of the Department of Chontales. From Juigalpa, a newly paved road (paver stones) leads northeast for 30 km to the town of La Libertad. Access to the mine site is along a five km, secondary unsurfaced road that originates at the entrance to the town of La Libertad. In total, La Libertad mine is 236 km from Managua.
B2Gold, indirectly through its subsidiary, Desarrollo Minero de Nicaragua S.A. (“Desminic”), hold a 100% interest in one exploitation concession for La Libertad covering 10,950 hectares, granted on September 6, 1994 for the term of 40 years pursuant to Ministerial Decree No. 032-RN-MC/94. The principal obligations under the Ministerial Accord include the annual payment of surface taxes, and a net 3.0% royalty on gross production revenues (ad valorem tax) payable to the government of Nicaragua. In addition, B2Gold holds an interest in two exploration concessions consisting of Buenaventura (100%) and Cerro Quiroz (80%) which cover a total of 4,600 hectares and are contiguous to the La Libertad exploitation concession.
La Libertad mine is also subject to a royalty interest granted to Inversiones Mineras S.A. (“IMISA”), a holding company formed to represent unionized mine workers in Nicaragua, equal to 2.0% of the value of total production of gold and silver from La Libertad exploitation concession. In Nicaragua, the government is entitled to an ad-valorem tax over the substances extracted from a mineral concession. The amount of ad-valorem tax is 3% for minerals. Under Nicaraguan law, the ad-valorem tax paid is considered a deductible expense for purposes of computing corporate income tax. However, when this law was enacted, it included a grandfathering rule which allowed concessions granted prior to this law to continue operating under its existing regime. Under the mining law applicable at the time, the amount paid as ad-valorem tax is applied as a direct credit against corporate income tax. The total royalty payable on La Libertad mine production is 5.0%. In addition, under Nicaraguan law, artisanal miners have the right to exploit secondary veins up to a total surface area that may not exceed 1% of the total area granted under a concession. Artisanal mining activities continue on the concession.
La Libertad Mine Reserves & Resources
Probable Mineral Reserves as of December 31, 2015 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8
|Vein Structure||Tonnes||Grade g/t Au||Ounces Au||Kg
|Total Probable Mineral Reserves||2,970,000||2.23||213,000||6,600|
- Mineral Reserves reported at a $1,200 per ounce gold price within design pits.
- Cut-off grades and design pits based on 2016 budget costs.
- Mineral Reserves reported are fully diluted. The amount of dilution applied varies by deposit.
- Mineral Reserves are reported above an open pit cut-off grade of 0.74 g/t gold for spent ore and 0.81 g/t gold for Jabali Central and 0.79 g/t gold for Jabali Antenna.
- The mining permit for Jabali Antenna is anticipated to be received in the second quarter of 2016.
- Mineral Reserves numbers are rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate and numbers may not add due to rounding.
- The Mineral Reserve estimates for La Libertad Mine were compiled and verified under the supervision of Kevin Pemberton, P.E. (Florida, USA), Chief Mine Planning Engineer, and a Qualified Person.
- The estimates reflect our 100% interest in La Libertad Mine.
Indicated Mineral Resources as of December 31, 2015 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
|Vein structure||Tonnes||Grade g/t Au||Ounces
|Jabali Antenna – Open Pit||1,890,000||3.87||235,000||7,300|
|Jabali Central – Open Pit||1,490,000||2.85||137,000||4,200|
|Total Indicated Mineral Resources||4,940,000||2.61||415,000||12,900|
Inferred Mineral Resources as of December 31, 2015 1,2,3,4,5,6,7
|Vein Structure||Tonnes||Grade g/t
|Open Pit – Inferred||-||-||-||-|
|Subtotal Inferred Resources
Open Pit & Spent Ore
|Underground – Inferred||1,550,000||5.91||296,000||9,200|
|Total Inferred Mineral Resources||2,510,000||4.53||366,000||11,400|
- Mineral Resources are inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
- Open pit Mineral Resources for La Libertad are reported within pit shells based on a gold price of $1,400 per ounce and current costs and metallurgical recovery. Open pit Mineral Resources are reported above a cut-off grade of 0.70 g/t gold. Spent ore is reported above a gold cut-off grade of 0.65 g/t. Underground Mineral Resources are reported above a cut-off grade of 2.5 g/t gold.
- Due to the uncertainty which may be attached to Inferred Mineral Resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an Inferred Mineral Resource will be upgraded to an Indicated or Measured Mineral Resources as a result of continued exploration.
- Mineral Resources numbers are rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate and numbers may not add due to rounding.
- Mineral Resource estimates for La Libertad Mine were compiled and verified as of December 31, 2015 under the supervision of Brian Scott, P.Geo., our Vice President Geology and Technical Services, and a Qualified Person.
- The estimates reflect a 100% interest in La Libertad Mine.
- Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.