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B2Gold’s Otjikoto holds steady

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B2Gold’s Otjikoto pit in Namibia a few years ago. Image credit: Leon Louw for WhyAfrica

B2Gold’s Otjikoto holds steady

Canadian gold miner B2Gold’s Otjikoto mine in Namibia performed well during the first quarter of 2022, producing 35,061 ounces of gold, 5% (1,803 ounces) above budget, with processed tonnes, grade and recoveries all slightly better than budget.

According to a statement by B2Gold Otjikoto’s gold production is expected to be significantly weighted to the second half of 2022 when mining is scheduled to reach the higher-grade portions of Phase 3 of the Otjikoto Pit and ore production ramps up at the Wolfshag underground mine.

As expected, compared to the first quarter of 2021, gold production was significantly higher by 52% (12,019 ounces), as processed ore in the first quarter of 2021 was primarily sourced from existing stockpiles while significant waste stripping operations continued at both the Wolfshag and Otjikoto pits.

For the first quarter of 2022, mill feed grade was 1.31 g/t compared to budget of 1.26 g/t and 0.82 g/t in the first quarter of 2021; mill throughput was 0.85 million tonnes compared to budget of 0.84 million tonnes and 0.89 million tonnes in the first quarter of 2021; and gold recovery averaged 98.5% compared to budget of 98.0% and 97.6% in the first quarter of 2021.

Wolfshag development on target

Development of the Wolfshag underground mine continues to progress with ore production expected to commence in the first half of 2022. The initial underground Mineral Reserve estimate for the down-plunge extension of the Wolfshag deposit includes 210,000 ounces of gold in 1.2 million tonnes of ore at 5.57 g/t gold.

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