Production rises at B2Gold's La Libertad

Friday, October 14, 2016

Gold production at B2Gold's biggest Nicaraguan mine rebounded in Q3 due to higher grades.

La Libertad produced 37,261oz, up from 3,1234oz in the same period last year and 9% above budget.

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Mill head grade was 13% above target at 2.19g/t as the mine schedule was modified to mine additional high grade ore from the Jabalí Central pit to offset further permitting delays at the Jabalí Antenna pit.

B2Gold now expects mining to begin at the Jabalí Antenna pit in 2017 upon completion of resettlement activities and receipt of remaining mining permits.

Production was originally planned to start in 2H15. The start date was extended to Q2 and later to end-2016 due to permitting and resettlement delays.

Recoveries at La Libertad increased to 95.2% in the quarter from 94.0%, with mill processing down due to additional harder ore from Jabalí Central.

B2Gold expects 2016 production at La Libertad at the high end of guidance of 125-135,000oz.


Production fell to 14,185oz from 14,517oz at the El Limón mine, also in Nicaragua. Output was below the budget of 15,208oz.

Production was impacted by lower grades (3.63g/t, down from 3.75g/t in 3Q15), partly offset by small improvements to throughput and recoveries.

While underground sourced ore grades were better than expected, mill feed was supplemented by lower grade surface stockpiles due to fleet availability and maintenance issues.

Two haul trucks and a long-hole drill were added in the quarter. Output at El Limón is expected to meet the low end of 2016 guidance of 50-60,000oz.


B2Gold produced a record 146,686oz gold in Q3, up 18%, and reported record gold revenue of US$193mn.

The company is considering offers for the sale of its 49% stake in the Gramalote gold project in Colombia, and is not currently considering selling its Nicaraguan assets, it said.

B2Gold also has mines and projects in the Philippines, Namibia, Mali and Burkina Faso.