Otjikoto continues to perform strongly
> Jonas Eiseb
Windhoek- The Otjikoto Gold Mine situated in northern Namibia continued to perform strongly, producing 38,252 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2015, a 4 percent increase in production.
Additionally, B2Gold also put work into a new geological resource model for the Otjikoto pit.
“The new Otjikoto Mine continues to perform strongly producing 38,252 ounces of gold in the third quarter of 2015, approximately 4 percent above budget.
“Gold production exceeded budget mainly due to better than expected mill throughput and very high mill recoveries of 99.1 percent.
“The average gold grade 3 processed was 1.71 grams per tonne compared to budget of 1.78 g/t,” B2Gold said recently.
Work on a new geologic resource model for the Otjikoto pit incorporating drilling, grade control data, and in-pit mapping conducted in 2014 is expected to continue in the last quarter.
The new geologic model and related engineering work are expected to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.
The expansion of the Otjikoto mill from 2.5 million tonnes per year to 3.0 million tonnes per year was also completed on time and schedule in September, reflecting a positive third quarter for B2Gold.
The plant expansion according to B2Gold included the installation of two additional leach tanks and a pebble crusher.
For the full-year 2015, the Otjikoto Mine is expected to produce between 140,000 to 150,000 ounces of gold and will include pre-commercial production.
In a statement, B2Gold said: “All ore in 2015 and most ore in 2016 is expected to come from the existing Otjikoto Pit. Beyond 2016, Otjikoto’s gold production is expected to be further enhanced by the development of the Wolfshag zone, adjacent to the main Otjikoto Pit.”
“A conceptual mining study, incorporating the high-grade Wolfshag zone as well as the new geologic model for the Otjikoto Pit, is scheduled to be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2015. This mining study will determine the optimal point to transition from open pit to underground mining at Wolfshag,’’ B2 Gold said.
B2Gold witnessed record year-to-date consolidated gold production of 361,796 ounces which included 18,815 ounces of pre-commercial production from Otjikoto, an increase of 33 percent over the same period in 2014 while record year-to-date consolidated gold revenue of $414.6 million.