Otjikoto to Produce First Gold in Fourth Quarter

B2GOLD Namibia’s Otjikoto gold mine, the country’s second gold mine, expects to produce its first gold in the last quarter of this year. Full production is expected in 2015.

The company hosted a media day last week, where it revealed in a project update, that construction of the project remains on schedule and that it expects to pour its first gold in the fourth quarter.

Otjikoto gold project is located approximately 300 kilometres north of Windhoek, near Otavi and is owned 90% by B2Gold and 10% by EVI Mining, a local empowerment group.

The life of the open pit mine, based on the probable reserves, is currently estimated to be 12 years, with annual forecast gold production of approximately 141 000 ounces gold per year for the first five years, and for the life of the mine approximately 112 000 ounces of gold per year. During production, 500 workers will be employed.

B2Gold said mill and mining offices have been completed and said construction of all the other administration buildings is complete.

So far this year, production stands at 8,4 million tonnes of mined against a budget of 8,6 million tonnes.

The company said ore mining commenced in June and activities are focused on building the ore stockpiles in preparation for planned commissioning.

In January, B2Gold announced an initial resource estimate for the Wolfshag zone of 6,8 million tonnes at 3,2 grams per ton gold containing 703 000 ounces gold.

The Wolfshag zone occurs directly adjacent to the planned Otjikoto open pit which has an average grade of 1,42 grams per ton gold.

The initial resource estimate for the Wolfshag zone indicates the potential for future expansion of gold production in the mine life of the project.

The other gold mine in the country is Navachab near Karibib, which was recently sold by AngloGold to the UK-based QKR Corporation Limited. The mine was valued at N$1,2 billion.

As of 31 December 2012, Navachab had gold mineral resources of 4 410 000 ounces and gold ore reserves of 2 100 000 ounces. In the year ended 31 December 2012, Navachab produced 74 000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of US$929 per ounce and for the nine months ended 30 September 2013 produced 46 000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of US$755 per ounce.

QKR is a private mining company focused on acquiring and building a diversified portfolio of development and growth assets in the EMEA region and the Americas.

Source : The Namibian