Guest Contributor | Jul 29, 2020 | 0
B2Gold’s local Rhino Gold Bar campaign launched in North America
Canadian gold miner, B2Gold on Wednesday announced the launch of its Namibian Rhino Gold Bar campaign in North America to support the conservation and protection of the critically endangered black rhinos.
The announcement on the SENS platform also stated that the campaign will further support the community-based rhino rangers and trackers who protect the rhinos in Namibia.
The announcement made Wednesday coincides with the International Ranger Federation’s (IRF) World Ranger Day, which takes place annually on 31 July. World Ranger Day was established on the 15th anniversary of the founding of the IRF and has been observed globally since 2007.
Through its groundbreaking donation of 1,000 ounces of gold valued at approximately US$1.9 million as at 28 July, 2020 from its Otjikoto Mine, B2Gold has produced 1,000 limited edition Namibian Rhino Gold Bars in various sizes.
According to B2Gold, to celebrate the launch of the campaign in North America, 400 one-ounce gold bars will go on sale on Kitco Metals(Kitco) retail website on July 31.
Kitco, one of the world’s premier retailers of precious metals, has generously agreed to process these transactions (on behalf of B2Gold) at cost to further benefit black rhino conservation and protection efforts in Namibia and local communities whose livelihoods depend on the survival of the species, according to the statement issued on SENS.
Each one-ounce bar is available for purchase at the spot price of gold plus a 15% conservation premium.
B2Gold said the 15% premium is a way to extend the positive impact of each gold bar sold in support of rangers, trackers, and black rhino conservation and protection. It will be used to fund the future production of more gold bars, or gold medallions, the second limited edition of which will be distinctly different from the first mintage, ensuring that this initiative remains self-sustaining.
“Poaching and the illegal trafficking of animals and their parts is a scourge that takes place around the world and must be stopped,” said B2Gold´s President & CEO, Clive Johnson.
“In Namibia, where we work closely with our employees, local suppliers, business partners, the government and non-governmental organizations in so many ways, our collaborative vision for the Rhino Gold Bar was to put a new and innovative funding mechanism for conservation in place that we could all be proud of,” Johnson said.
“Every gold bar purchased helps to combat poaching – by supporting rhino rangers and trackers, which in turn, supports their families and empowers communities to help save a species on the
verge of extinction. This is an example of using one precious resource, gold mined in Namibia, to protect another – the world´s critically endangered black rhino population – now and for generations to come.”
Meanwhile B2Gold said proceeds from the sale of the first 600 gold bars to Namibian and African purchasers have been managed and distributed by the Committee, which includes representatives from B2Gold, SRT, IRDNC, the Namibia Chamber of Environment, and the Namibia Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Tourism.
Funds have been allocated to help counteract the impact of the pandemic by providing salaries to keep rhino rangers and trackers in the field for the next 12 months; maintaining adequate
patrol levels to diminish the threat of poaching and sustain population growth; raising awareness about the importance of black rhino conservation to reinforce community support; and upgrading
communication systems to ensure the rapid response of rhino rangers and trackers during a crisis situation.
According to B2Gold, proceeds from the sale of the 400 gold bars in North America will continue to be managed and distributed by the Committee.
Recognizing the importance of this groundbreaking creative conservation and philanthropic initiative, Simson Uri-Khob, SRT´s CEO, said, “The timing of the Rhino Gold Bar campaign in North America could not be better as COVID-19 has impacted conservation funding and plunged the world´s remaining wild rhinos into serious risk. As we mark World Ranger Day, we aspire for the healing of our people and our planet. B2Gold´s support for sustainable, community-backed rhino conservation and protection allows us to not only dream of a better world, but to plan for it.”