B2Gold Targeting October Production Start at Fekola

B2Gold reported that construction of its Fekola gold mine in southwest Mali is ahead of schedule and now on target for an October production start. The company completed a revised geological resource model for Fekola in the third quarter of 2016, followed by updates to open-pit mine designs and production plans that reflect an increase in planned mill capacity to 5 million metric tons per year (mt/y). Based on these production plans, B2Gold now expects Fekola to produce an average of 375,000 to 400,000 ounces per year (oz/y) during its first five years of production from 2018 through 2022.

As of year-end 2016, overall construction at Fekola was approximately 60% complete. A total of 4 million m3 of material had been moved, and construction of the tailings storage facility and water embankments was 100% complete. Lining of the tailings facility began in December.

Installation of mechanical components was ongoing, including the gyratory crusher, pebble crusher, conveyors, reclaim tunnel, and leach and carbon-in-pulp tanks. Commencement of mill installation began in January. Construction of the gold room and reagent storage area was well under way.

Total preproduction capital costs to develop the Fekola project are estimated at $395 million, plus $67 million of anticipated mine fleet and power generator costs, which are expected to be leased.

B2Gold has signed a 71.4 million equipment facility with Caterpillar Financial SARL for the Fekola project (funding subject to satisfaction of conditions precedent) that it expected to draw on beginning in February 2017.

At year-end 2015, the Fekola project had mineral reserves totaling 44.3 million mt, grading 2.35 g/mt gold and containing 3.3 million oz of gold.

As featured in Womp 2017 Vol 03 - www.womp-int.com