Thanks to its new mine Fekola, B2Gold’s consolidated gold production in the first quarter of 2018 was a quarterly record of 239 684 oz, a significant increase of 81% (or 106 948 oz) over the same period last year.
In its first full quarter of operations (after achieving commercial production on 30 November 2017, within only 60 days from start-up), the new Fekola mine continued to operate above plan, producing 114 142 oz of gold in the first quarter of 2018, 11% (or 11 228 oz) above budget.
B2Gold is well on target to achieve transformational growth in 2018. For full-year 2018, with the planned first full year of production from the Fekola mine, consolidated gold production is forecast to be between 910 000 and 950 000 oz.
This represents an increase in annual consolidated gold production of approximately 300 000 oz in 2018 from 2017. The company’s forecast consolidated cash operating costs are expected to remain low in 2018 and be between $505 and $550 per ounce, and AISC are expected to decrease by approximately 6% from 2017 and be between $780 and $830 per ounce.
The Fekola mine is B2Gold’s largest and lowest-cost producer. The resulting increase in production levels combined with low costs are projected to dramatically increase B2Gold’s production, revenues, cash from operations and cash flow for many years, based on current assumptions (including a gold price assumption of $1 300 per ounce).
On average over the next three years, beginning in 2018, the company is projecting per annum gold sales revenues of approximately $1.2 billion, cash flow from operations of approximately $0.5 billion and a significant increase in free cash flow (operating cash flows less investing cash flows).