B2gold On Track to Pour First Gold This Year

Otjikoto Gold Mine will produce its first gold ore in the fourth quarter of this year. Construction of the mill and mining offices at the mine located between Otjiwarongo and Otavi are near completion, with the majority of concrete poured for the mill construction, while the Leach and Carbon in Pulp tanks have been erected. “The construction phase of the project remains on schedule to pour its first gold in the fourth quarter of 2014,” the company said in a statement.

Project-to-date production stands at 8.4 million tonnes mined against a budget of 8.6 million tonnes. Ore mining commenced in June 2014 and activities are focused on building the ore stockpiles in preparation for planned commissioning. According to spokesperson of the Otjikoto Gold Mine, Gretha du Plessis, the diesel and water reservoir tanks have been erected while construction of the Primary Crusher is complete. “The shells of both the SAG and ball mills have been assembled in the milling area and the erection of the pre-leach thickener and the tailings thickener are in progress. The painting of all tanks is ongoing”, said Du Plessis.

The Otjikoto Gold Mine is owned 90 percent by B2Gold and 10 percent by EVI Mining, a Namibian empowerment group. The life of the open pit mine, based on the probable reserves, is currently estimated to be 12 years, with an annual forecasted gold production of approximately 141 000 ounces gold 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 is expected to require more than 500 full time workers.

Du Plessis continued that the tailings facility, which encompassed 1.5 million cubic metres of earth movement, is materially complete and includes 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 has captured water to use during start-up of the mill”, explained Du Plessis.

A construction camp about two kilometres northeast of the mine is operational to accommodate construction workers at the Otjikoto site – although a large percentage of the workforce comes from Otavi and Otjiwarongo and are bussed to the site on a daily basis. At present, it houses 300 construction workers.

Photo: Tanks

Caption: All tanks in the Processing area at the Otjikoto Gold Mine have been erected. In the foreground are the Carbon-In-Pulp tanks, and to the right are the partially painted Leach tanks. Photo: Contributed

Source : New Era