In the fourth quarter of 2017 B2Gold is projecting gold production from Fekola of between 50 000 and 55 000 oz.
2018 is scheduled to be the first full year of gold production, yielding 400 000 to 410 000 oz for the year.
Based on current assumptions this represents an increase in annual gold production of over 70% for B2Gold in 2018.
B2Gold has previously announced that construction of the mill at Fekola was completed and it had commenced running ore through the system three months ahead of the original schedule and on budget.
Additionally, B2Gold announced a new life of mine (LoM) plan showing increased production and lower operating and all in sustaining costs (AISC) compared with the original 4 Mtpa optimised feasibility study for Fekola’s 5 MTPA mill.
Based on the new LoM plan the Fekola mine is projected to produce approximately 400 000 oz of gold annually for the first three years at operating cash costs of $357 per oz and AISC of $604 per oz.
For the first seven years Fekola is projected to produce approximately 374 000 oz of gold annually with operating cash costs of $391 per oz and AISC of $643 per oz.
Over the initial ten-year LoM Fekola is projected to produce an average of 345 000 ozpa at operating cash costs of $428 per ounce and AISC of $664 per ounce.
Ongoing Fekola exploration
Based on exploration to date, B2Gold’s exploration team believes there is significant potential to increase the mine life of Fekola through further exploration drilling.
The $15 million 2017 exploration drill program is ongoing at the Fekola property and regional area.
The drilling is focused on testing the potential extension of Fekola to the north, the mineralization below the Kiwi zone and the mineralized bedrock zones beneath the Anaconda saprolite resource.
Infill drilling continues to focus on the resources outlined immediately below the Fekola reserve boundary, immediately to the north of the boundary and the near surface portion of the Kiwi zone.
The resources identified to date could add up to 900 000 oz to reserves with further infill drilling.
Feature image credit: B2Gold