US$400 million mine nearing completion
The Otjikoto project is estimated to bring close to US$400 million over its present envisaged mining life of 12 years, into the economy.
Excavation at the mill area is complete and a concrete batch plant is in continuous use to assist with the pouring of foundations. A total of 15,000 cubic metres of concrete will be poured during the construction phase of which 10,500 cubic metres have already been poured.
According to the update, the mill and mining offices have been completed by an Otavi contractor, and the construction of all the other administration buildings are progressing well. Most of the equipment and supplies to build the mill area has been purchased and is arriving daily at site. Mill construction is progressing well. 7,500 cubic metres of concrete has been poured in this area, and four leach tanks and three Carbon in Pulp tanks have been erected.
The tailing facility is materially complete after 1.5 million cubic metres of earth were moved. This includes the placement of an impermeable liner to protect groundwater. The project team is busy with the final quality checks for approval by the engineering team and the project is capturing water to use during the start-up of the mill.
De-bushing and stripping of the pit area have been completed. The stripped topsoil from the mine and waste dump has been stockpiled to allow for re-vegetation after the mine closes.
The total volume of material moved from the pit area to date is approximately 4.7million tonnes. A construction camp has been set up about two kilometres northeast of the mine to house construction workers at the Otjikoto site. Much of the workforce comes from Otavi and Otjiwarongo and commute to the site on a daily basis.
On 22 January this year, B2Gold Corp. announced an initial inferred resource estimate for the recently discovered Wolfshag zone of 6.8 million tonnes at 3.2 grams gold per tonne. This translates to an estimated 703,000 ounces gold. The Wolfshag zone occurs directly adjacent to the east and northeast portion of the planned Otjikoto open pit which has an average grade of 1.42 g/t gold.
The initial resource estimate for the Wolfshag zone indicates the potential for future expansion of gold production and/or increase in the mine’s life.
The Otjikoto gold project is located between Otjiwarongo and Otavi and is owned 90% by B2Gold and 10% by EVI Mining Pty Ltd, a Namibian empowerment group.
Construction of the Otjikoto Gold Mine is on budget. Construction commenced January 2013 and will continue into the fourth quarter of 2014. It is anticipated that gold will be produced during the fourth quarter of 2014 with a ramp up to full production in 2015.
Annual forecast gold production is approximately 141,000 ounces per year for the first five years and for the life of mine, approximately 112,000 ounces of gold per year. During production the site will require around 480 full-time workers.
The Otjikoto gold project is only the second gold mine in Namibia after AngloGold Ashanti’s Navachab gold mine near Karibib.