Fekola Mine Grand Opening

Fekola Mine Grand Opening

B2Gold Celebrates Grand Opening of its Fekola Mine
– February 3, 2018

B2Gold celebrated the grand opening of its Fekola Mine on February 3, 2018, which was officiated by His Excellency, Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, President of the Republic of Mali. The event was also attended by various government stakeholders, the B2Gold Board of Directors, a full delegation of B2Gold Executives, as well as B2Gold Mali country and mine management, and employees.

The successful development of the Fekola Mine, now B2Gold’s largest gold mine, is a great achievement for the Company, dramatically increasing gold production, revenues and cash flows.

On September 25, 2017, the Company announced that it had completed construction of the Fekola mill on budget and commenced ore processing at the Fekola Mine, more than three months ahead of the original schedule. The first gold pour at the Fekola Mine was achieved in early October 2017. On November 30, 2017, the Fekola Mine achieved commercial production, one month ahead of the revised schedule and four months ahead of the original schedule.

Gold production from the Fekola Mine in 2017 was 111,450 ounces (including 79,243 ounces of pre-commercial production), far surpassing the upper end of its original guidance range (45,000 to 55,000 ounces) due to its high quality of construction, by B2Gold’s in house construction team, which allowed for the rapid ramp up to full-scale production. The Fekola Mine is expected to produce between 400,000 and 410,000 ounces of gold in 2018, the first full year of production. Based on the new life of mine (“LoM”) plan, the Fekola Mine is projected to produce approximately 400,000 ounces of gold annually for the first three years at cash operating costs of $357 per ounce and AISC of $604 per ounce. Over the initial ten-year LoM, Fekola is projected to produce an average of 345,000 ounces per annum at cash operating costs of $428 per ounce and AISC of $664 per ounce.

Watch Now: Mali's President, Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, delivers his speech at B2Gold's Fekola Mine Grand Opening

For English section of speech, scroll to 4 minutes 15 seconds

"Mr. Johnson: to you and your standing delegation, the leaders and shareholders of B2Gold – we have been so happily inspired to trust the Mali mining potential. That is why today, I wear a cap, ‘Invest in Mali'."

President Ibrahim Boubacar Keïta, Mali

Watch Now: Clive Johnson, President & CEO, B2Gold Corp. delivers his speech at the Company's Fekola Mine Grand Opening

In his address at the Fekola Mine Grand Opening, Clive Johnson, President & CEO, B2Gold, thanked President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita and the government for working closely with the B2Gold team to construct the mine. "We will continue to maintain this relationship of transparency and trust established between us," he said.

"Fekola Opens its Doors," Mariama A. Traoré
L'ESSOR, February 5, 2018

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The head of the state with the first gold bullion of the mine

President of the Republic Ibrahim Keita inaugurated on Saturday the new mine of Fékola, district of Kéniéba in the region of Kayes. Several members of the government attended the event, including the Minister of Mines and Oil, Tiemoko Sangaré. Other personalities including the B2gold Group director, the Canadian company that operates the mine, Clive Johnson, and the elders of Kéniéba and the village of Fékola and the administrative and political authorities of the Kayes region. It was a bit over 14 h00 when the president entered the new mine site he inaugurated a few minutes later. The ceremony was rich, punctuated by the speeches, visits and a musical entertainment provided by the instrumental ensemble.

Moussa Camara, mayor of Kéniéba has requested the involvement of the President of the Republic for the implementation of the clauses that presided over the opening of this mining site. The construction of the Fekola mine, it should be remembered, was completed in late September, more than three months ahead of the initial schedule. Fekola attained commercial production at the end of last November. Gold production was 11, 1450 ounces of gold, including 79,243 ounces of pre-commercial production, thus surpassing the upper end of its original guidance range of 45,000 and 55,000 ounces, due to its early start-up and and strong ramp-up performance.

Clive Johnson thanked the president and the government for having accepted to work closely with his team for this mine to be. "We will continue to maintain this relationship of transparency and trust established between us," he said. Fekola, he said, is a world-class mine in terms of Environmental protection, health, etc. And Clive Johnson claims that Fekola represents 40 percent of their business worldwide. The mine, says his boss, has an estimated life of 10 years with a prospect of 111,450 ounces a year. However, Clive Johnson then admits, the Fekola area has huge potential. Precisely for this reason the B2GOLD company has spent several millions for this year's exploration. This research will not only increase the life of the mine but also increase gold production. The B2GOLD group leader has given assurances that his company will continue its program, while respecting the recommended standards. In addition, the company will help the population to carry out income-generating activities, especially for women. To this end, women's organizations have been trained in gardening techniques. It will also assist communities in education through scholarships to high schools and colleges in Mali and Canada. The Minister of Mines and Oil Tiemoko Sangaré praised the interest of the president in the economic development of the country's mining sector. Indeed, it is thanks to the vigorous reforms that the government has initiated that our country has become a preferred destination for mining investors, says Tiémoko Sangaré. This has favored the creation of this mine and two others that will soon be inaugurated. All these actions, said the Minister, will enable the mining sector to play an important role in the economic and social development of our country. There is something to celebrate with the opening of this new mine. Because thanks to its large deposit, the Fékola mine will increase our gold production and offer many jobs to young people. The Minister also emphasized that with an investment of more than 300 billion FCFA, the Fekola mining project is the largest private investment in our country in recent years. In accordance with the production plan, the plant will process five (5) million tonnes of ore per year and produce 400,000 ounces or 12,440 tonnes of gold annually for the first three years. However, the average annual production during the first ten years of mine life will be 345,000 ounces, or about 11 tonnes of gold. This made the Minister say that the level of production in Fekola will allow Mali to remain in the circle of four major gold producers in Africa. In addition to the jobs created, the Fekola mine will also generate nearly 540 billion FCFA of revenue for the public treasury. Tiémoko Sangaré took the opportunity to recall the significant contribution of the mining sector to the national economy. Indeed the sector brings to the state budget more than 250 billion CFA francs each year.

The Minister announced that a large streamlining project for traditional gold panning has been launched. To this end, he will say, access cards to gold panning sites have been issued to identify all actors involved in this sector. These reforms will contribute to the installation of central purchasing offices on all the gold panning sites, which will be equipped with records of production and sale of the various products from the mining industry in our country. In addition, an operation to promote small scale mining by nationals will soon be launched.

He made an urgent appeal to the entire national financial system to support them in this process to better shine gold for all Malians. The Minister invited all mining operators, national and international oil companies to invest in the mining and oil sectors of Mali. Because, the potentialities are enormous and the opportunities are fantastic.

It was a happy president who took the floor to express his pride in sharing with the people of Kenieba the joy and glee of the opening of this new mine. "The mine, the gold is a chance, provided the gold serves the Malians, provided that we feel the environment generated by gold," said the Head of state. He praised the company's commitment in the field of environmental protection and the education of children.

Mariam A. Traoré

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