B2Gold announces initial resource for Wolfshag
B2Gold recently announced an initial inferred resource estimate of 6.8 million tonnes at 3.2 grams per tonne gold containing 703,000 ounces at the recently discovered Wolfshag zone at the Otjikoto gold project.
The planned Otjikoto deposit open pit has an average grade of 1.42 g/t gold. This raises the potential for the future expansion of the mine and a probable increase in the mine life of the Otjikoto gold project as the Wolfshag zone lies to the immediate east and northwest of the Otjikoto pit. Construction of the mine is expected to be complete by the second half of the year. B2Gold intends to commence production in the fourth quarter of 2014 saying this week that the project is on schedule and within budget.
The exploration budget for 2014 is set at US$8 million and the exploration drilling programme will focus primarily on infill drilling on the northern portion of the Wolfshag zone to increase the drilling density to 50 x 25 metres in addition to extending the Wolfshag zone to the south. The 2014 programme will also include metallurgical and geotechnical test work for the site, B2Gold said in a statement released earlier this week.
Based on probable reserves, the mine is estimated to have a life span of 12 years with an annual gold production of approximately 141,000 ounces for the first 5 years at an average operating cash cost of US$524 per ounce of gold and for the life of the mine approximately 112,000 ounces of gold per year at an average operating cost of US$689 per ounce.
As a result of the positive drill results, plans are in place to expand the Otjikoto Mine in 2015. This will result in ore output increasing from 2.5 million tonnes to 3 million tonnes. Annual gold production will increase to approximately 170,000 ounces once the expansion is completed in 2015. The installation of a pebble crusher, an additional leach tank and mining equipment valued at US$15 million will help in achieving the outcomes, the B2Gold statement concluded.