Projects

Masbate Mine – The Philippines (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 Production & Revenue & Guidance for 2018.

Open Pit

Property Location and Access:

The Masbate Gold Project (“MGP”) is located in Masbate Island in the Republic of the Philippines. The mine is situated about 360 kilometres (“km”) southeast of Manila, the capital of the Philippines, within the municipality of Aroroy, Masbate Province, Region V. The mine site can be accessed by a commercial airline service, which flies daily to Masbate City; from there it is a 70-km drive on a partially-sealed road to the mine site. Alternate access to the site from Masbate City is via a one-hour boat ride. A registered light air strip and helipad are located close to the mine. The mine is equipped with a barge loading jetty where heavy equipment and consumables are delivered and offloaded.

Third Quarter (“Q3”) 2017:

The Masbate Mine continued to exceed expectations, producing 46,557 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2017, 20% (or 7,799 ounces) above both (original) budget and reforecast production, and comparable with the prior-year quarter. Gold production exceeded budget and reforecast production due to better than expected throughput and recoveries, mainly driven by significantly higher than budgeted oxide ore from the Colorado Pit. As mining advances in the Colorado Pit, the trend of more oxide ore than modelled has continued. The Masbate Mine has continued its outstanding safety performance, achieving two years without a lost-time-injury on October 12, 2017. 

Mill throughput in the quarter was 1,704,723 tonnes compared to budget of 1,619,060 tonnes and 1,604,176 tonnes in the third quarter of 2016. Mill recoveries averaged 77.4%, which was better than budget of 68.9% and 77.2% in the third quarter of 2016. The average grade processed was 1.10 g/t compared to budget of 1.08 g/t and 1.20 g/t in the third quarter of 2016. As expected, grades were higher in the prior-year quarter attributable to the high-grade ore from the Main Vein Stage 1 Pit, which is no longer active. 

Masbate’s third quarter cash operating costs(2) were $541 per ounce (Q3 2016 – $466 per ounce), significantly below budget by $203 per ounce (or 27%). This favourable variance was mainly the result of higher than expected production and lower than expected production costs (due to cost savings in most areas) and stockpile adjustments. Masbate’s all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”)(2) in the third quarter were $717 per ounce (Q3 2016 – $650 per ounce), significantly below budget by $339 per ounce (or 32%). AISC were below budget as a result of lower cash operating costs and sustaining capital expenditures due to the timing of mobile equipment purchases, which were expected in the third quarter of 2017 but are now expected to occur in the fourth quarter of 2017.

Year-to-date (“YTD”)(3) 2017:

Year-to-date gold production at Masbate was 149,049 ounces (YTD 2016 – 157,591 ounces), significantly above (original) budget by 12% (or 16,043 ounces) and 6% (or 7,799 ounces) more than reforecast production.  

Masbate’s cash costs remained significantly below budget in the first nine months of the year with cash operating costs of $527 per ounce (YTD 2016 – $437 per ounce), $161 per ounce (or 23%) below budget, and AISC of $800 per ounce (YTD 2016 – $612 per ounce), $256 per ounce (or 24%) below budget. Compared to the prior-year period, Masbate’s AISC increased, reflecting higher fuel costs as well as its 2017 planned mine fleet replacement and expansion program. However, in 2018, Masbate’s mine equipment purchases are planned to significantly decrease (relative to 2017).  

2017 Guidance:

For full-year 2017, the Masbate Mine is well on track to meet or exceed the high end of its previously increased production guidance range of between 180,000 to 185,000 ounces of gold (original guidance was 175,000 to 185,000 ounces) while meeting the low end of its guidance range for cash operating costs of between $595 to $635 per ounce and AISC of between $935 and $975 per ounce.    

Department of Environment and Natural Resources Update:

As reported by the Company on February 2, 2017, the Department of Natural Resources (the “DENR”) announced further results of its mining audits of metallic mines in the Philippines, and the Masbate Mine was not among the mines announced to be suspended or closed. To date, the Company has not received any updated formal written response from the DENR confirming the final results of the audit in respect of Masbate and as such, the final outcome of the audit has not been determined. The Company believes that it continues to be in compliance with Philippine laws and regulations. The Philippine Mining Industry Coordinating Council ("MICC") (the MICC is the oversight committee for the DENR) has voted to rescind the existing Department Administrative Order, which bans new open-pit mines (does not apply to current Masbate operations). They have indicated that the order may be lifted, provided that mining laws, rules and regulations are strictly enforced. 

The Masbate operations were recently presented with the DENR’s Saringaya Award for its contribution to environmental protection, conservation and management in the regions surrounding the Masbate Mine. The Saringaya Award is considered the DENR’s most prestigious regional environmental award.

Recent News Releases:

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.

MGP_0116

Click here for details on the Masbate “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. Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” in B2Gold’s most recently filed Management’s Discussion and Analysis (“MD&A”). Click here for MD&A
  3. First nine months of 2017

Certain portions of the information provided herein are derived from and based on the technical report entitled “Masbate Gold Operation, Republic of the Philippines, NI 43-101 Technical Report on Operations” that has an effective date of December 31, 2016, and was prepared by Tom Garagan, P. Geo., Ken Jones, P.E., Kevin Pemberton, P.E. and John Rajala, P.E. and from our most recently filed 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 Masbate Gold 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 Masbate 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 www.sedar.com and on the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s website at www.sec.gov).

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