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Despite Otjikoto slope failure, B2Gold gold output on course for another record year

Canadian gold producer B2Gold has exceeded its first-quarter production guidance by 8 966 oz of gold, for company-wide output of 127 844 oz of the yellow metal, an increase of 10% over the same period in 2015.

Despite a slope failure on the pit access ramp at the Otjikoto mine, in Namibia, on Tuesday, B2Gold did not expect the operation’s full-year guidance to be affected.

B2Gold reported late on Wednesday that the rising output was mainly attributable to strong quarterly production from the company’s Masbate mine, in the Philippines, and the La Libertad mine, in Nicaragua. The Otjikoto mine was in line with budget, while, El Limon, in Nicaragua, was slightly behind budget, mainly owing to the lower grade processed in the period.

The Vancouver-based miner stated that it expected another record year for gold production, ranging between 510 000 oz and 550 000 oz, while consolidated cash operating costs for the year were expected to range between $560/oz and $595/oz, lower when compared with $616/oz in 2015. Gold output for the year was expected to be weighted to the second half, the company advised.

B2Gold reported gold revenue for the first quarter of $144.3-million on gold sales of 120 899 oz, at an average price of $1 193/oz. This compared with gold revenue of $138.9-million for the first quarter of 2015 (or $162-million including $23.1-million of pre-commercial sales from the Otjikoto mine) on gold sales of 114 799 oz at an average price of $1 210/oz. The increase in revenue was mainly owing to increased output from the Masbate and La Libertad mines, compared with the same period of the previous year.

The company on Thursday traded at a 12-month high of C$2.61 apiece in Toronto, having gained 78% since the start of the year.

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