Canadian mid tier gold miner, B2Gold, has announced the first gold pour at its new Otjikoto open pit mine in Namibia ahead of the original schedule according to Mining Africa Year (Press Watch).
The company says Otjikoto is only the African nation’s second gold mine and has been one of the fastest-moving mine construction projects there. The Otjikoto deposit was originally discovered by South African mining company Anglovaal, and was acquired by B2Gold from Auryx Gold, with which the company merged in December 2011. Since then progress has been rapid.
The Otjikoto Mining licence was received in December 2012, and bush-clearing started in January 2013. With the ground-breaking ceremony held on 26th April, 2013, construction of the Otjikoto Gold Mine was officially underway. Since that time the team has placed over 1.3 million m3 of earth fill, over 20,000 m3 of concrete, and has worked over 3 million man-hours. B2Gold thus now has a world-class gold mine and processing facility in Namibia. The Otjikoto gold project is located 300 kilometres north of Namibia’s capital city of Windhoek between the towns of Otjiwarongo and Otavi. The project benefits significantly from Namibia’s well established infrastructure with paved highways, a railway, power grids, and process water all close by. Namibia is also reckoned to be one of Africa’s most politically and socially stable jurisdictions.
In the first five years of its initially planned twelve year mine life, the Otjikoto Mine is expected to produce about 141,000 ounces of gold per year at an average cash operating cost of $524 per ounce. For 2015 the anticipated figures are for the new mine to produce between 140,000 to 150,000 ounces of gold at a cash operating cost of about US$500 per ounce and all in sustaining costs of approximately $700 per ounce
Pre-development cost estimates of $244 million and deferred stripping estimates of $33 million remain in line with original pre-feasibility study estimates.