B2gold Set to Search for More Metals

B2GOLD Namibia, fresh from opening the Otjikoto gold mine near Otavi, is set to explore for more metals as it seeks to extend its footprint in the country’s mining industry.

The company is currently exploring on three licences across the country. “The field work and public meetings for the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for these EPLs have been completed and the relevant EIA reports drafted,” public relations manager Gretha du Plessis said in an interview.

Du Plessis explained that the reports are currently being distributed and further meetings will be held as part of the review period by interested and affected parties.

She said after the review period by interested and affected parties, any further comments will be considered and the reports finalised for submission to the ministry of environment and tourism by SLR Environmental Consulting Namibia.

“Exploration work will only start once all necessary approvals have been received,” she said, adding that exploration will be for precious metals and base metals as per the EPL terms.

She said there are no proven minerals in the areas being explored. The Otjikoto mine employs close to 700 workers. The gold bars produced at Otjikoto will be transported to South Africa to be refined into 99,99% pure gold.

B2Gold Namibia is a joint operation between a Canadian company, B2Gold, that holds 90% shares, and local mining company EVI Mining with 10% shares. The mine celebrated its first gold pouring on 11 December 2014 and achieved its commercial production in February this year. It is the second gold mine in Namibia after Navachab near Karibib in the Erongo region.

The mine is expected to produce between 140 000 and 150 000 ounces of gold at a cash-operating cost of approximately US$500 per ounce and all in sustaining costs of approximately US$700 per ounce. Once the planned mill expansion is completed in the third quarter of 2015, the company expects annual gold production to increase to approximately 200 000 ounces in 2016 and 2017.

B2Gold operates in Mali, Canada and Nicaragua.

The main Otjikoto open-pit deposit is 29,4 million tonnes at a grade of 1,42 gt gold containing 1,34 million ounces of gold.

Source : The Namibian