B2Gold Corp. Announces 2012 Exploration Results and 2013 Plans and Budgets for the Company's Portfolio of Development and Exploration Properties Press Release: B2Gold Corp. – 9 minutes ago
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - Jan 29, 2013) - B2Gold Corp. (BTO.TO)(BGLPF)(NAMIBIAN:B2G) ("B2Gold" or the "Company") is pleased to announce 2012 exploration drilling results and 2013 plans and budgets for the Company''s development and exploration properties in Nicaragua, Philippines, Namibia, Colombia and Uruguay. All dollar figures are in United States dollars unless otherwise indicated.
Jabali Deposit Development, La Libertad Property, Nicaragua (B2Gold 100%)
The Jabali deposit at La Libertad property in Nicaragua is located approximately 15 kilometres ("km") east of the mill facility at La Libertad Mine and consists of two zones, the Antenna and Central Zones that cover a combined strike length of 3.2 km, though the vein itself has a known strike length of 6.2 km.
The 2013 budget for the development of the Jabali deposit is approximately $16.9 million. This budget will fund the completion of construction of a 15 km private haul road for transporting the Jabali deposit ore to La Libertad mill, and for mine infrastructure development, engineering and socio-economic programs. The Company has received the mining permit for the Jabali Central deposit and plans to commence the shipping of Jabali ore to the Libertad mill in the first quarter of 2013, initially utilizing the upgraded existing road. The development and pre-stripping capital costs for the Jabali Central deposit are included in the Libertad 2013 capital budget as disclosed in the news release dated January 18, 2013.
The Jabali deposit has an indicated mineral resource of 4.19 million tonnes at 3.39 g/t gold containing 456,863 ounces of gold and an inferred mineral resource of 1.89 million tonnes at 3.06 g/t gold containing 186,610 ounces of gold (see news release dated April 05, 2012). These grades are considerably higher than the current average grade of 1.92 g/t ore currently being processed at La Libertad.
Based on the delivery of higher grade ore from the Jabali deposit, the Company expects an increase in annual production at La Libertad to approximately 131,000 to 137,000 ounces of gold in 2013 and 150,000 ounces of gold by 2014 (subject to final mine plan).
Otjikoto Project, Namibia (B2Gold 92% / EVI Gold (Pty) Ltd 8%)
B2Gold recently announced robust results from the Feasibility Study and the commencement of construction at the Otjikoto gold project in Namibia (see news release dated January 10, 2013).
The 2013 construction and development budget for the Otjikoto project totals approximately $134.4 million. Total pre-preproduction capital costs are estimated to be $244.2 million. Construction is scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2014 when mill production will begin and the first gold production from the Otjikoto gold project is scheduled.
The current mine plan is based on probable mineral reserves of 29.4 million tonnes at a grade of 1.42 g/t containing 1.341 million ounces of gold at a stripping ratio of 5.59:1 to be mined over an initial 12 year period.
The current average annual production for the first five years is approximately 141,000 ounces of gold per year at an average operating cash cost of $525 per ounce and for the life of mine approximately 112,000 ounces of gold per year at an average operating cash cost of $689 per ounce.
A further $8.0 million has been budgeted in 2013 for exploration to fund 24,145 metres of infill and regional exploration drilling. The Company''s geology team believes there is significant exploration upside at the Otjikoto gold project as indicated by the recently announced Wolfshag Zone drill results (see news release dated December 11, 2012).
Gramalote Property, Colombia (B2Gold 49% / AngloGold Ashanti Limited ("AngloGold Ashanti") Limited 51% Joint Venture)
The Gramalote property is located 80 km northeast of Medellin in central Colombia, with AngloGold Ashanti as manager of the project which has excellent access and infrastructure. The project has a phase I 2013 joint venture development and exploration budget of $26.1 million (100%). The Phase I budget covers the program through to the end of February and is for work required to investigate potential project improvements. Each joint venture partner will fund their share of expenditures pro rata. Trade-off studies are being carried out to confirm the optimum size of the project. Final results of this work are expected before the end of January. Due to the additional time required to evaluate the potential project scale and economics, the prefeasibility study is now scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2013 and a final feasibility study completed in early 2014. The Company is currently in discussions with AngloGold Ashanti to agree on a budget from March 2013 to year end.
The Company believes the Gramalote project has the potential to become a large scale open pit gold mine (subject to completion of a feasibility study and financing).