Gold production at B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine for the first quarter of 2016 was 35 703 ounces against a budget of 35 653 ounces, exceeding budget by 50 ounces and 4 569 ounces higher than the same period of the previous year.
The figures are contained in B2Gold’s Quarterly Gold Production for First Quarter 2016 released on the Namibia Stock Exchange.
For the same period in 2015, the Otjikoto mine´s total gold production was 31 134 ounces (including 18 815 ounces of pre-commercial production).
With the success of the plant expansion project, completed in the third quarter of 2015, the budgeted throughput rate for 2016 was increased from 6 855 tonnes per day to 9 024 tonnes per day.
For the first quarter of 2016, mill throughput was 822 602 tonnes, compared to a budget of 821 184 tonnes. The average daily mill throughput for the first quarter of 2016 was 9 040 tonnes per day versus a budget of 9 024 tonnes per day.
“The average mill recoveries for the first quarter of 2016 were 98,5%, compared to a budget of 97%, and recoveries during the same period of the previous year of 96%,” the company said.
The average gold grade processed in the first quarter of 2016 was 1,37 g/t, compared to a budget of 1,39 g/t.
“The company´s guidance for the Otjikoto mine remains unchanged. In 2016, the Otjikoto mine is expected to produce between 160 000 and 170 000 ounces of gold at cash-operating costs of between US$400 and US$440 per ounce. The mine is on target to achieve the budgeted gold production for the year,” the company noted.
B2Gold said with the high-grade Wolfshag zone entering the production phase towards the end of the fourth quarter 2016, gold production in 2017 is expected to increase significantly.
“A new life of mine plan, based on the new grade model and geotechnical data, is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2016, which will include mining from the Wolfshag deposit,” the company said.
Commenting on its financial performance worldwide, the company said gold revenue for the first quarter of 2016 was US$144,3 million on gold sales of 120 899 ounces at an average price of US$1 193 per ounce.
This compares to gold revenue for the first quarter of 2015 of US$138,9 million (or US$162 million including US$23,1 million of pre-commercial sales from the Otjikoto mine) on gold sales of 114 799 ounces at an average price of US$1 210 per ounce.