NAMIBIA – Vancouver-based B2Gold Corp. has reached commercial production at its open pit Otjikoto gold mine ahead of schedule at the end of February 2015. The company says the ramp up continues ahead of budget, as well.
The mine, located 300 km south of Windhoek, poured its first gold on Dec. 11, 2014, a week ahead of schedule. Operating cash costs for the month of January were US$612 per oz, compared to the budget estimate of US$705 per oz.
This year Otjikoto is expected to produce between 140,0000 and 150,000 oz of gold at an all-in sustaining cost of US$700 per oz. Annual output is to increase to 200,000 during 2017 as the mill capacity is expanded to 3.0 million t/y from 2.5 million t/y.
The mill expansion is on schedule, too. The first new leach tank will be completed during Q1 2015. A second leach tank, installation of a pebble crusher, plus associated piping and pumping components will be completed by Aug. 31, 2015. The mill can then treat ore from both the Otjikoto mine and the adjacent Wolfshag deposit.
Drill hole plans of both deposits are posted at B2Gold.com.