Otjikoto mine - Namibia
Open Pit, 90% B2Gold Ownership
FY 2016 Update:
The Otjikoto mine 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).
Q4 2016 Update:
Otjikoto’s fourth quarter 2016 production was 46,846 ounces of gold, slightly above budget and 19% (or 7,472 ounces) higher than the fourth quarter of 2015. Otjikoto’s fourth quarter 2016 cash operating costs were $367 per ounce of gold (Q4 2015 - $385 per ounce). AISC were $587 per ounce (Q4 2015 - $509 per ounce).
Otjikoto’s 2017 production is forecast to be between 165,000 and 175,000 ounces of gold, compared to 166,285 ounces produced in 2016. Cash operating costs are expected to be between $510 and $550 per ounce of gold. The expected cost increase over 2016 is mainly due to higher projected strip ratios at the new Otjikoto Phase 2 pit and Wolfshag Phase 1 pit. In addition, fuel prices are also projected to be higher than 2016. The average strip ratios at Otjikoto are expected to be lower in 2018 and 2019. AISC are expected to be between $855 and $885 per ounce, reflecting higher expected cash operating costs per ounce and capital expenditures.
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 in 2017. Ongoing studies are leading the Company to re-evaluate the open-pit and underground interface.
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"
Project Description and Location
B2Gold acquired the Otjikoto Gold Project through its acquisition of Auryx Gold in 2011. The Company began construction soon after and the Otjikoto Mine poured first gold on December 11, 2014, one week ahead of schedule. Based on the performance of the mill, and the fact that the Company met commercial production criteria of 30 consecutive days of mill throughput of 65% of faceplate capacity by February 28, 2015, the Otjikoto Mine declared commercial production on that date.
The Otjikoto Project is located approximately 70 kilometres northwest of the town of Otjiwarongo and 50 kilometres southwest of the town of Otavi within the Province of Otjozondjupa in the north-central part of the Republic of Namibia, approximately 300 kilometres north of Windhoek, the country’s capital.
On December 5, 2012 the Namibian Ministry of Mines and Energy (“MME”) granted Auryx Gold Namibia (Proprietary) Limited, later renamed to B2Gold Namibia, the Otjikoto mining license, ML 169. B2Gold Namibia is owned indirectly 90% by B2Gold and 10% by EVI, a Namibian empowerment company. The mining license (“ML”) was granted in accordance with the Minerals (Prospecting and Mining) Act of 1992 (the “Namibian Minerals Act”) and covers an area of 6,933.99 hectares. The license is valid for a term of 20 years with expiry of December 4, 2032. The license can be renewed for a further 20 years upon application to the MME. The ML requires payment of an annual fee, development of a works program, environmental compliance, commitment to seek local suppliers for fuel and lubricants, approval of the product take-off agreement, and payment of taxes by permanent employees in Namibia. Mine production is subject to royalties at 3% of net market value payable to the Namibian state.
The ML is situated within Exclusive Prospecting License (“EPL”) 2410. EPL 2410 covers an area of 54,125 hectares (inclusive of the ML) and is in good standing, with renewal for an additional two years granted by the MME on September 14, 2012. An annual fee of N$6,000 and filing of quarterly exploration reports with the MME and bi-annual environmental reports with the Ministry of Environment and Tourism (“MET”) are required to keep the license in good standing. Exploration is conducted under the terms of an ECC issued by the MET on June 20, 2002. The ECC was renewed by the MET on February 11, 2013. B2Gold Namibia holds two additional EPL’s in the Otjikoto area and seven EPL’s in other areas of Namibia.
In 2011, the farms Wolfshaag, Otjikoto, Gerhardshausen and Okaputa Nord I were purchased and consolidated by Auryx Properties Holdings (Proprietary) Limited, later renamed as B2Gold Namibia Property (Proprietary) Limited (“B2Gold Namibia Property”). The ML and all proposed infrastructure are situated on the B2Gold Namibia Property farms.