Projects

Otjikoto Gold Mine - Namibia

Open Pit, 90% B2Gold Ownership

Property Location and Access:

The Otjikoto Mine is located in the north-central part of the Republic of Namibia. It is situated approximately 300 kilometres (“km”) north of Windhoek, the country’s capital, within the Province of Otjozondjupa. Otjikoto can be accessed off the main B1 road, a primary paved road, from the towns of Otjiwarongo or Otavi located approximately 70 km to the southwest and 50 km to the northwest of Otjikoto respectively. Click here for B2Gold’s Annual Information Form ("AIF") 2017 for more details on the mine’s “Property Description, Location and Access”.

2016:

Otjikoto had a record year in 2016, producing an annual record 166,285 ounces of gold, above the mid-point of its production guidance range (of 160,000 to 170,000 ounces) and 14% (or 20,562 ounces) higher than 2015 (including 18,815 ounces of pre-commercial production from Otjikoto). Otjikoto’s 2016 production benefitted from higher throughput due to the successful completion of its mill expansion project in September 2015 (which increased plant capacity from 2.5 to 3.0 million tonnes per annum) and also due to overall process optimizations.

Otjikoto’s full-year 2016 cash operating costs(1) were an annual record-low at $368 per ounce of gold, and were at the low end of the reduced cost guidance range (of between $365 and $405 per ounce) and significantly beat initial guidance (of between $400 and $440 per ounce). Cash operating costs also decreased by $57 per ounce (or 13%) compared to the prior-year (following commercial production at Otjikoto on February 28, 2015). The lower cash operating costs reflect lower fuel prices and the reduced consumption of fuel and reagents. Cash operating costs were also lower in 2016 compared to 2015 as a result of a weaker Namibian dollar/US dollar foreign exchange rate. Otjikoto’s full-year 2016 all-in sustaining costs (“AISC”)(1) were $604 per ounce of gold, compared to budget of $629 per ounce and $550 per ounce in 2015 (following commercial production at Otjikoto on February 28, 2015). 

Q1 2017:

Otjikoto had a very strong start to the year with first quarter gold production of 42,774 ounces, significantly above budget by 20% (or 7,082 ounces) and also 20% (or 7,071 ounces) greater than the first quarter of 2016. The increase over both budget and the prior-year quarter was mainly due to better-than-expected grade and ore tonnage from the new Wolfshag Phase 1 pit and increased high-grade ore tonnage from the bottom of the Otjikoto Phase 1 pit, accompanied by smaller gains from improved plant performance. 

The average grade processed in the quarter was 1.62 g/t, compared to budget of 1.39 g/t and 1.37 g/t in the first quarter of 2016. To date there has been a positive reconciliation in terms of both grade and ore tonnage from the oxide portion of the Wolfshag Phase 1 pit versus the resource model. As a result, processed ore from Wolfshag was approximately 230,000 tonnes at a grade of 1.90 g/t versus a budget of 84,000 tonnes at a grade of 1.41 g/t. In addition, high-grade ore from the bottom of the Otjikoto Phase 1 pit (carried over from the fourth quarter of 2016 and into the first quarter of 2017, both from stockpiles and pit production) also exceeded expectations. Processed high-grade ore from the Otjikoto Phase 1 pit was approximately 380,000 tonnes at a grade of 1.90 g/t versus a budget of 355,000 tonnes at a grade of 1.70 g/t. The Otjikoto Phase 1 pit was completed by mid-January. Mill throughput for the quarter was 832,805 tonnes compared to a budget of 814,680 tonnes and 822,602 tonnes in the first quarter of 2016. Mill recoveries remained high and averaged 98.6%, exceeding the budget of 98.0% and 98.5% in the first quarter of 2016.

Otjikoto’s first quarter cash operating costs were $413 per ounce, significantly below budget by $121 per ounce (or 23%). This was mainly the result of higher-than-budgeted gold production combined with lower-than-budgeted fuel prices, fuel/reagent consumption and labour costs. Otjikoto’s first quarter cash operating costs were $32 per ounce higher compared with the first quarter of 2016, as the prior-year quarter had benefited from a significantly weaker Namibian dollar/US dollar foreign exchange rate and lower fuel prices. AISC in the quarter were $771 per ounce, below both budget of $1,049 per ounce and $835 per ounce in the prior-year quarter reflecting lower cash operating costs and sustaining capital expenditures. Pre-stripping costs in the quarter were $1.8 million below budget mainly due to lower-than-expected mining costs and strip ratios.

Life-of-mine production plans for Otjikoto, incorporating preliminary projections for the Wolfshag open-pit and underground mines, have been completed for various options and will be further refined as the detailed geotechnical, hydrogeological, and design studies are completed, expected at the end of the third quarter of 2017. Studies are ongoing to determine the optimum interface between open-pit and underground mining to maximize project economics.  

Otjikoto

2017 Guidance:

For full-year 2017, Otjikoto is forecast to produce between 165,000 and 175,000 ounces of gold at cash operating costs of between $510 and $550 per ounce. Forecast gold production at Otjikoto is expected to be weighted towards the second-half of the year as Wolfshag Phase 1 and Otjikoto Phase 2 pits reach higher grade and lower strip ratio benches. Otjikoto’s forecast 2017 AISC are expected to be between $855 and $885 per ounce.

Recent News Releases:

Please click here for the full news release “B2Gold Corp. Reports Strong First Quarter 2017 Results Exceeding its Budget Guidance; Fekola Project Mine Construction Remains on Target for an October 1, 2017 Production Start”, dated May 3, 2017.

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.

Otjikoto

Click here for details on Otjikoto “Exploration” section.

Footnotes (Click to expand)

  1. 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: Otjikoto Gold Project, Province of Otjozondjupa, Republic of Namibia” dated February 25, 2013 prepared by, among others, the following Qualified Persons: William Lytle, P.E., Tom Garagan, P.Geo., Hermanus Kriel, Pr.Eng., Glenn Bezuidenhout, Pr.Eng., FSAIMM and Guy Wiid, Pr.Eng. 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 Otjikoto 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.

Otjikoto

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