B2Gold Corp. ("B2Gold" or the "Company"), is pleased to announce that further to its news release dated June 11, 2015 announcing the results of an optimized Feasibility Study on the Company's Fekola Gold Project located in Mali, it has today filed a National Instrument 43-101 technical report entitled "B2Gold Corp NI 43-101 Technical Report Feasibility Study on the Fekola Gold Project in Mali" with an effective date of June 30, 2015 (the "Report").
The Report was prepared by Sandy Hunter, MAusIMM(CP), of Lycopodium Minerals Pty Ltd, David J.T. Morgan, PE, of Knight Piesold Pty Limited, and Tom Garagan, P.Geo, Ken D. Jones, PE, Bill Lytle, PE, and Peter D. Montano, PE, of B2Gold. There are no material differences between the mineral reserve and the mineral resource estimates announced in the June 11, 2015 news release from those contained in the Report.
Highlights of the optimized Feasibility Study include:
- An open pit gold mine with an initial production life of mine ("LOM") of 12.5 years based on the probable mineral reserves;
- Average annual gold production for years one through seven of 350,000 ounces per year at a $418 operating cash cost per ounce;
- Average annual LOM gold production of 276,000 ounces per year at an operating cash cost of $552 per ounce;
- New open pit probable mineral reserves of 49.2 million tonnes at a grade of 2.35 g/t gold containing 3.72 million ounces of gold at a stripping ratio of 4.5:1;
- Average LOM gold recovery of 92.8% resulting in a total of 3.45 million ounces produced over the 12.5 year LOM;
- Estimated pre-production capital cost of $395 million plus $67 million of equipment financing. This does not include approximately $30 million of early works, which were materially completed (on schedule) at the end of June 2015;
- At an indicated gold price of $1,300 and $1,200 per ounce, cumulative LOM pre-tax net cash-flow of $1.66 billion and $1.34 billion, respectively; and
- At an indicated gold price of $1,300 and $1,200 per ounce, a net present value pre-tax of $1.01 billion and $0.8 billion, respectively, at a 5% discount rate generating a pre-tax internal rate of return of 35% and 30%, respectively.
For additional details regarding the optimized Feasibility Study, please refer to the Report which may be found under B2Gold's corporate profile on SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Initial construction activities at Fekola began in February 2015 led by core team members of the Otjikoto construction team. Early works included the assessment of construction equipment needs, purchasing and mobilization of required equipment and materials, hiring of local contractors and mobilization of key personnel. Early works construction includes:
- improving the existing access road between Kenieba and the site (complete);
- construction of a new site access road (materially complete);
- construction of an on-site airstrip designed to allow personnel to fly directly in and out of the site (30% complete); and
- commencement of construction of the camp pad and commencement of excavations within the mill footprint.
All critical tasks have been completed to allow the Company to continue with the development of the project through the 2015 rainy season which runs from late June to September. Additionally, a permanent camp has been ordered and is scheduled to arrive in Mali in October 2015. The construction schedule in the optimized Feasibility Study plans for gold production to commence at the end of the fourth quarter of 2017.
Tom Garagan is the Senior Vice President of Exploration for the Company and is the qualified person who has reviewed and approved the technical information contained in this news release as required under National Instrument 43-101 - Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects.
B2Gold is a Vancouver based gold producer with four mines (two in Nicaragua, one in the Philippines and one in Namibia) and a strong portfolio of development and exploration assets in Mali, Nicaragua, Namibia, Philippines, Colombia and Burkina Faso. The Company is projecting to produce approximately 540,000 ounces of gold in 2015 and over 600,000 ounces of gold in 2016.
ON BEHALF OF B2GOLD CORP.
Clive T. Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer