17 Jul 2013 07:40
WINDHOEK, 17 JUL (NAMPA) ? Vancouver(Canada)-based gold producer B2Gold Corporation has announced additional higher-grade resources that could lead to the expansion of production and an increased mine life at the Otjikoto gold project.
The Otjikoto gold project is located approximately 70 kilometres north of Otjiwarongo in the Otjozondjupa Region, and is owned 90 per cent by B2Gold and 10 per cent by EVI Gold, a local company.
B2Gold President and Chief Executive Officer Clive Johnson said in a media statement issued on Wednesday the project, currently under construction, is on schedule and on budget to commence production in the fourth quarter of 2014.
?These positive drill results indicate the potential to outline additional higher grade resources that could lead to the expansion of production and an increased mine life at the Otjikoto gold project. The current phase of infill drilling will upgrade the Wolfshag zone to an inferred resource and will be completed in the next two weeks,? he noted.
According to Johnson, the initial inferred resource estimate for the zone is expected by year-end. The Otjikoto exploration budget for 2013 is Canadian Dollars 8.0 million (about N.dollars 76.5 million).
Based on the proximity of the Wolfshag zone to the planned Otjikoto open pit, Johnson said the company believes a significant amount of the Wolfshag mineralisation could be included in an expanded pit, subject to further drilling and final mine plan.
The company intends to update the mine plan to incorporate the Wolfshag zone once infill drilling has upgraded the resource to indicate next year.
The life of the open pit mine, based on the probable reserves, is estimated to be 12 years, with annual forecast gold production of approximately 141 000 ounces gold per year for the first five years at an average operating cash cost of Canadian Dollars 524 (about N.dollars 5 013) per ounce of gold and for the life of mine approximately 112 000 ounces of gold per year at an average operating cash cost of Canadian Dollars 689 (about N.dollars 6 592) per ounce.
Construction of the Otjikoto Gold Mine is ongoing, on schedule and on budget.
Construction commenced January 2013 and will continue into the fourth quarter of 2014. It is anticipated that gold will be produced during the fourth quarter of 2014, with a ramp up to full production in early 2015.
Meanwhile, the company has completed a transaction with its partner EVI Gold on the Otjikoto project in Namibia in which, among other things, EVI Gold exercised its right to increase its ownership interest in the Otjikoto project from 8 per cent to 10 per cent for consideration of US dollars 5 million (about N.dollars 50 million).
In addition, as partial consideration for the issuance to EVI Gold of common shares of the company, EVI Gold has transferred its rights to acquire an additional 5 per cent interest in the Otjikoto project to the company.