B2Gold Corp announces additional positive exploration drilling results from the Fekola Regional area in Mali.
Fekola Regional Development Update that based on the 2022 Anaconda Area Mineral Resource estimate and B2Gold’s preliminary planning, the Company demonstrated that the Anaconda Area could provide selective higher grade saprolite material to feed into the Fekola mill at a rate of up to 1.5 million tonnes per annum.
Trucking of selective higher grade saprolite material from the Anaconda Area to the Fekola mill will increase the ore processed and has the potential to generate approximately 80,000 to 100,000 ounces of initial gold production per year from Fekola Regional sources (Fekola Regional Phase I).
Initial saprolite production is expected to commence from the Bantako North permit starting in the third quarter of 2023 and is expected to contribute approximately 18,000 ounces of gold in 2023 with Fekola Regional production levels continuing to ramp-up through 2024.
In the first quarter of 2023, the Company invested $15 million in the development of Fekola Regional (Anaconda Area) saprolite mining including road construction, mine infrastructure, and mining equipment. For 2023, the Company has budgeted a total of $63 million for Fekola Regional development.
The construction mobile equipment fleet is now in operation, and construction of the haul roads and mining infrastructure is on schedule to support saprolite production from the Bantako North permit area as early as the third quarter of 2023. Production from Bantako North is contingent upon receipt of all necessary permits, which are expected to be received in the second quarter of 2023.
Preliminary results of a Fekola Complex optimization study, coupled with 2022 exploration drilling results, indicate that there is a significant opportunity to increase gold production and resource utilization with the addition of oxide processing capacity. The Company is progressing an engineering study of a Fekola Regional stand-alone mill and oxide processing facilities (expected to be located on the Anaconda Area).
Construction of a stand-alone oxide mill would constitute Phase II of the Fekola Regional Development Plan. The Company’s conceptual analysis indicates that the combined Fekola Mine and Fekola Regional processing facilities could have the potential to produce more than 800,000 ounces of gold per year from the Fekola Complex, subject to delineation of additional mineral resources and development, completion of feasibility studies, and the receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals and permits.
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