B2Gold discovered 390 000 gold ounces at Otjikoto Mine


B2Gold Corporation, the Canadian company that owns the Otjikoto Mine, situated between Otavi and Otjiwarongo, has announced the discovery of a new resource estimated to contain 390 000 gold ounces.

This comes as B2Gold Namibia announced last month that it had started the process that will see the company cut 300 jobs in 2024 and a further 250 jobs in 2025, having mined the ore at its old mining areas. The company has about 820 permanent employees.

The gold miner announced that an initial inferred mineral resource estimate for the Springbok Zone, the southernmost shoot of the recently discovered Antelope deposit, was 390,000 ounces of gold.

This was found about three kilometres south of the Otjikoto Phase 5 open pit at the Otjikoto Mine.

This amount of gold meets the B2Gold threshold to start preliminary economic assessment (PEA)-level studies of development by underground mining methods, similar to the Wolfshag deposit.

The company said the mineral resource estimate on the Springbok Zone that will form the basis for a potential PEA includes inferred mineral resources of 1.75 million metric tonnes grading 6,91 grams per ton of gold for a total of 390 000 ounces of gold.

B2Gold added that the ongoing exploration drilling on the Oryx Zone, which appears to represent a second shoot northeast of and above the Springbok Zone, has returned high-grade intervals that demonstrate the potential to increase the mineral resource estimate, the company said.

The company said that subject to receipt of a positive PEA study and permit, mining of the Springbok Zone, coupled with the exploration potential of the greater Antelope deposit, could begin to contribute to gold production at Otjikoto in 2026.

B2Gold said there is a potential to supplement the processing of low-grade stockpiles at the Otjikoto Mine through 2031, with the goal of increasing gold production levels to over 100,000 ounces per year from 2026 through 2031.

The 2024 exploration budget for Namibia is US$9 million, funding the largest drill programme at the Otjikoto Mine since the definition of the Wolfshag discovery in 2012.

B2Gold is a low-cost international senior gold producer headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2007, the company operates gold mines in Mali, Namibia, and the Philippines, the Goose Project is under construction in northern Canada and numerous development and exploration projects are underway in various countries, including Mali, Colombia, and Finland.

B2Gold Corporation of Canada owns 90% of B2Gold Namibia, while local company, EVI Gold Mining owns 10%.

For 2024 the company expects to produce between 180 000 ounces and 200 000 ounces in 2024 and 2025 and just under 100 000 ounces in 2026, stepping down to sub 50 000 ounces from 2026 through 2031 during the processing of low-grade stockpiles.

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