B2Gold’s Otjikoto On Schedule, On Budget

B2Gold Namibia’s Otjikoto project is expected to inject nearly US$400 million (more than N$4 billion) of investment into Namibia’s economy over its present envisaged life of 12 years. According to B2Gold’s spokesperson, Gretha du Plessis, the construction phase of the project remains on schedule to produce gold this year. “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 about 15 000 cubic metres of concrete will be poured during the construction project, and a total of 12 760 cubic metres of concrete has been poured to date,” remarked Du Plessis. She added that the mill and mining offices have already 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 have been purchased and are arriving daily on site. Mill construction activities are also progressing well and 10 400 cubic metres of concrete has been poured in this area, while six leach tanks and six Carbon in Pulp (CIP) tanks have been erected.

The tailings facility is materially complete. This part of the project encompassed 1.5 million cubic metres of earth movement and included the placement of an impermeable liner to protect the environment. “The project team is busy with the final quality checking for approval by the engineering team and the project is capturing water to use during start-up of the mill,” Du Plessis said. So far the pit area has been de-bushed and stripped.

The stripped top soil (100 000 tonnes) from the mine and waste dump is stockpiled so that these areas can be re-vegetated after mine closure. The total volume of material moved from the pit area to date is approximately 5.1 million tonnes. A construction camp about two kilometres northeast of the mine, which can accommodate up to 800 workers, is operational to accommodate and currently houses construction workers at the Otjikoto site. However, a large percentage of Otjikoto’s workforce comes from Otavi and Otjiwarongo and are bussed to the site on a daily basis. This camp will only be operational during the construction phase.

On January 22 this year, B2Gold Corp. announced an initial inferred resource estimate for the recently discovered Wolfshag zone near the Otjikoto site of 6.8 million tonnes at 3.2 grams per tonne (‘gt’) gold containing 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 gt gold. The initial high grade inferred resource estimate for the Wolfshag zone indicates the potential for future expansion of gold production andor increase in the mine life of the Otjikoto gold project,” explained Du Plessis.

Source : New Era