B2Gold to boost Fekola mill with Anaconda saprolite
B2Gold recently released an updated Mineral Resource estimate for the Anaconda area. Anaconda is made up of the Menankoto permit and the Bantako North permit and is about 20km from the company’s Fekola mine.
According to the new Mineral Resource estimate an open pit in the Anaconda area could provide selective saprolite material with an average grade of 2.2 grams per tonne (g/t)) to be trucked to and fed into the Fekola mill. The project is subject to obtaining all necessary permits and completion of a final development plan.
B2Gold has budgeted close to USD33-million to fund development of infrastructure for Phase I saprolite mining at the Anaconda area. Phase 1 also includes road construction.
The trucking of selective higher grade saprolite material from Anaconda to the Fekola mill would increase the ore processed and annual gold production from the Fekola mill, with the potential to add an average of approximately 80,000 to 100,000 ounces per year to the Fekola mill’s annual gold production.
The plan to truck the selective higher grade saprolite material is not included in the Company’s 2022 production guidance and the Anaconda area Mineral Resources have not been included in the current Fekola life of mine plan.
B2Gold has commenced a Phase II scoping study to review the project economics of constructing a stand-alone mill near the Anaconda area. Subject to receipt of a positive Phase II scoping study, the company expects that the saprolite material would continue to be trucked to and fed into the Fekola mill during the construction period for the Anaconda area stand-alone mill.
Anaconda’s 2022 exploration underway
B2Gold’s 2022 Mali exploration program, with a budget of approximately USD28.4-million, is currently underway. This program includes about USD12-million focused on exploration drilling at the Anaconda area.
The company will continue drilling to infill and extend the saprolite resource area and to follow up on the sulphide mineralisation at the Anaconda area, including the Mamba and Adder zones, and several other targets below the saprolite mineralisation.
The good grade and width combinations at the Anaconda area continue to provide a strong indication of the potential for Fekola-style south plunging bodies of sulphide mineralisation, which remains open down plunge. Five drill rigs are currently drilling in the Anaconda area.
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