06 Nov 2013 15:40pm
OTJIWARONGO, 06 NOV (NAMPA) B2Gold Namibia Managing Director Bill Lytle says work on the construction of the Otjikoto Gold Mine has progressed well so far.
The mine is situated 70 kilometres north of Otjiwarongo on the way to Otavi in the Otjozondjupa Region.
Lytle said at a media conference held at the mine on Tuesday that the pit area where the ore will be mined has been debushed so far, and the topsoil has been stripped from the mine and waste dump area.
The topsoil is being stockpiled so that the area can be re-vegetated after the mines closure.
The life expectancy of the Otjikoto Gold Mine - Namibia's second gold mine - is estimated at 12 years.
A construction camp was also set up about two kilometres north-east of the mine to house construction workers.
The camp will eventually house around 800 workers, although a large percentage of the workforce so far comes from Otavi and Otjiwarongo, and are being transported to the site by bus on a daily basis.
When asked when the first gold would be produced at the mine, Lytle told Nampa that their goal is to produce it during the fourth quarter of 2014.
Our goal is to have a full year's production, as much as 140 000 ounces of gold, in 2015, he enthused.
He said over the last 12 to 24 months, gold prices have come down and stabilised between US dollar 1 300 and US dollar 1 400 per ounce, adding that it is hard to say where the price of gold is heading to.
But what I can tell you is that B2Gold developed the project, based on what the current gold price is. We believe the project is sustainable and at the current gold price, we will produce gold for a very long time, he noted.
The project is situated approximately 300 kilometres north of Windhoek between Otjiwarongo and Otavi, and is owned 90 per cent by B2Gold and 10 per cent by EVI Mining (Pty) Ltd, a Namibian empowerment group. Construction of the Otjikoto Gold Mine is on schedule and within budget.
It commenced in January this year, with the groundbreaking ceremony taking place in April. Construction work will continue into the fourth quarter of 2014.
The forecast gold production is estimated at 141 000 ounces of gold annually for the first five years, while for the life of the mine, production is expected to stand at approximately 112 000 ounces of gold per year.