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B2Gold Otjikoto mine expected to produce 170,000 ounces of gold in 2018

B2Gold Otjikoto mine expected to produce 170,000 ounces of gold in 2018

Triple-listed international gold miner, B2Gold, stated that the Otjikoto Mine is expected to produce between 160,000 and 170,000 ounces of gold in 2018, primarily from the Otjikoto Pit.

Owner and operator of the local mine said this is projection is set slightly lower because in 2017, Otjikoto produced an annual record of 191,534 ounces of gold which had exceeded the upper end of its revised production guidance range by 6% (11,534 ounces) and the top end of its original production guidance range by 9% (16,534 ounces).

According to B2Gold, its Otjikoto mine’s outperformance in 2017 was mainly the result of better than expected high-grade ore tonnage from the Wolfshag Phase 1 Pit and higher than expected mill throughput. In the fourth quarter of 2017, the Otjikoto Mine produced 52,446 ounces of gold, exceeding both budgeted and reforecast production by 10% (4,655 ounces).

For 2018, production will be at cash operating costs of between N$5 574 and N$6 096,56 per ounce and all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of between N$8 128,75 and N$8 709.38 per ounce.

In 2018, Otjikoto is budgeted to process a total of 3.3 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.59 g/t and process recovery of 98%.

“The slight drop in grade versus 2017 is due to a negligible amount of Wolfshag ore being mined in 2018 as phase 2 of the Wolfshag Pit is being developed. Ore production is planned to resume from the Wolfshag Pit in 2019 which is expected to provide higher grade open-pit mill feed in the future,” B2Gold stated.

Sustaining capital costs in 2018 at Otjikoto are budgeted to total N$192 767 500. Non-sustaining capital costs are budgeted to total N$330 956 250, including N$308 892 500 for Wolfshag pre-stripping and N$19 741 250 to complete phase one of the solar power project which is expected to decrease fuel oil consumption and power costs starting in the second quarter of 2018.



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Donald Matthys

Donald Matthys has been part of the media fraternity since 2015. He has been working at the Namibia Economist for the past three years mainly covering business, tourism and agriculture. Donald occasionally refers to himself as a theatre maker and has staged two theatre plays so far. Follow him on twitter at @zuleitmatthys