B2Gold aims to smelt first gold in December
Ore grade material will not be mined until December.
In an update on the construction of its new mine north of Otjiwarongo, B2Gold Namibia last week said the construction phase of the project is on schedule and on budget. Approval has been obtained from the Ministry of Environment and Tourism for its Environmental Impact Assessment in October and the mine is currently working with the Electricity Control Board for technical approval of its power plant.
Elaborating on the consituent elements in the construction process, B2Gold said excavation at the Mill Area is 85% complete and a concrete batch plant has been erected to assist with the pouring of foundations. A total of about 15,000 cubic metres of concrete will be poured during the construction project. Some of the office buildings for the mill area have already been completed by an Otavi contractor. Most of the equipment and supplies to build the mill have been ordered and some are already en route.
“It is expected that a major portion of the work on the tailings facility will be completed by the end of the year. The entire tailings facility project will encompass 1.5 million cubic meters of earth movement. The tailings team is 40% complete with placing the impermeable liner – the entire tailings dam will be a lined facility with a surface area of approximately 140 hectares.
B2Gold said the pit area has been de-bushed and the topsoil stripped from the mine and waste dump area. The topsoil is stockpiled so that the area can be re-vegetated after mine closure. The total volume of the material that has been moved from the pit area thus far is approximately 1.7 million tonnes. The soil will be used to either build roads or to build embankments at the tailings facility. Ore grade material will not be mined until December.
A construction camp about 2 kilometres northeast of the mine has become operational to house construction workers at the Otjikoto site. It will eventually house up to 800 workers, although a large percentage of the workforce comes from Otavi and Otjiwarongo and are bused to the site on a daily basis. This camp will only be operational during the construction phase.
Water for the construction phase is extracted on site and the mine is currently operating on an approval of 500,000 m3 per year, valid this year and next. The mine said it has recently received its operational water extraction permit to extract 1.4 million cubic metres of water per year but to handle this amount of water, additional pumps and lines will have to be connected.
The Otjikoto gold project is owned 90% by B2Gold and 10% by EVI Mining (Pty) Ltd, a Namibian empowerment group.
The life of the open pit mine, based on the probable reserves, is estimated to be 12 years, with annual forecast gold production of approximately 141,000 ounces gold per year for the first five years and for the life of mine approximately 112,000 ounces of gold per year.
B2Gold has invested $1.5 million in Corporate Social investment for 2013 to date.
Canadian-listed B2Gold operates the La Libertad and Limon Mines in Nicaragua and the Masbate Mine in the Philippines.