Mining at Wolfshag to commence Q4, 2016
Open pit mining is set to commence on B2Gold’s recently discovered Wolfshag Zone the company announced this week. Mining is set to commence in the fourth quarter of this year while new reserves and resources are currently being evaluated.
The updated indicated resource identified will then be evaluated to determine the optimal size of the Wolfshag open pit, before transitioning to underground mining.
“As a result of these changes, B2Gold is preparing an updated Otjikoto Life of Mine plan, which will incorporate the new Otjikoto model as well as preliminary modelling and scheduling of the Wolfshag zone into the overall Otjikoto Life of Mine plan. The new Otjikoto Life of Mine plan is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2016,” it said.
The total exploration budget for Otjikoto in 2016 is $4.7 million, which is planned to include 10,700 meters of drilling to infill the down plunge extension of the Wolfshag resource. In addition, drilling will commence to test the newly acquired Ondundu project, located 190 kilometres southwest of Otjikoto.
“With the completed mill expansion, the Otjikoto Mine is projected to process approximately 3.3 million tonnes of ore for the year at an average grade of 1.59 g/t gold. Gold recoveries are expected to average 97%. Most ore in 2016 will come from the existing Otjikoto Pit, with a minor component from Wolfshag as the pit is developed,” B2Gold said.
During 2015, B2Gold also completed 14,181 metres of in-fill drilling at the Wolfshag zone. New reserves and resources for the Wolfshag zone are currently being evaluated, incorporating the new drilling information, and these are expected to reflect the conversion of a significant element of previously announced resources from the inferred category to the indicated category. The updated indicated resource identified will then be evaluated to determine the optimal size of the Wolfshag open pit, before transitioning to underground mining, B2Gold reported.
In late 2015, B2Gold completed an updated geological and grade model for the Otjikoto Deposit. The . “The updated model reports higher tonnage, slightly lower average grade, and roughly 10% less total contained ounces of gold. The new Otjikoto model and related engineering work have been incorporated in the 2016 budget estimates”.