The milestone was marked October 7, the company said, as it prepares for commercial production to commence by the end of the year.
B2Gold is anticipating between 50,000 and 55,000 ounces of gold production in the December quarter; in 2018, its first full year, its goal is 400,000oz to 410,000oz – representing a 70% increase in the miner’s gold production for next year.
Construction of Fekola’s mill was completed last month, again three months ahead of schedule. Commissioning of the mill, which was also completed within budget, is ongoing.
A new life of mine (LoM) plan released last month has also shown an increase in projected production and lower operating and all-in sustaining costs versus the original report, up from 4Mtp/y to 5Mtp/y. Over Fekola’s initial 10-year mine life, the company is expecting average annual production of 345,000oz.
B2Gold’s exploration team feels there is significant potential to increase the mine’s lifespan through more exploration drilling; it is focusing its work on a potential extension of Fekola to the north, and is also conducting infill drilling. Exploration and infill drilling results should be released next month.