Otjikoto surpasses projections
The Otjikoto Gold Mine exceeded expectations, surpassing all production outcomes set.
Gold production soared and the mine managed to produce a record 8,587 ounces against a budgeted 8,267.
Said B2Gold in a statement, “Otjikoto continued its strong ramp up to commercial production and produced 8,587 ounces. February 2015 also saw gold production ahead of budget. 10,228 ounces were produced versus 8,863 ounces budgeted. March 2015 was the first month of commercial production and the mill produced 12,319 ounces. In March, the average daily mill throughput was 7,668 tonnes of ore per day with mill recoveries averaging 98.6%. The average gold grade processed was 1.65 grams per tonne compared to budget of 1.83 grams per tonne.”
Exceedances in production for the first quarter of 2015 were mainly the result of better than expected throughput and mill recoveries. During the quarter, the average daily mill throughput was 7,295 tonnes of ore per day. The mill has a design capacity of approximately 6,800 tonnes of ore per day. The average gold grade processed for the first quarter was 1.53 grams per tonne. “The processed gold grade continues to increase towards budget as the mine optimizes mining grade control,” B2Gold said.
Expansion of the Otjikoto mill from 2.5 million tonnes per year to 3.0 million tonnes per year is reportedly on schedule. The addition of two leach tanks has begun and the pebble crusher has been ordered. It is anticipated that this work will be completed by August 31, 2015. “This will support additional throughput initially from the Otjikoto Mine and subsequently from the fully permitted Wolfshag deposit that is located immediately adjacent to the main Otjikoto deposit,” B2Gold said. For the rest of the year, the Otjikoto Gold Mine is expected to produce between 140,000 to 150,000 ounces of gold. All ore in 2015 will come from the existing Otjikoto pit. Once the planned mill expansion is completed in the third quarter of 2015, B2Gold expects that annual gold production from the main Otjikoto pit to increase significantly to approximately 200,000 ounces in 2016 and 2017,” B2Gold said.