Canada-based gold producer B2Gold has put in a strong performance in the first half of 2021 and the company says it is on track to meet, or exceed, the upper end of its guidance for the year.
B2Gold, which operates mines in Mali, Namibia and the Philippines, is targeting production of 970 000 oz to 1.03-million ounces for the year, at a total consolidated cash operating cost of between $500/oz and $540/oz and total consolidated all-in sustaining costs of $870/oz to $910/oz.
The guidance does not include the potential upside to increase production at Fekola, in Mali, from the nearby Cardinal resource, which could start production in the current quarter. A 10 000-t bulk sample has been mined and processed in the second quarter.
B2Gold states that it is updating the Fekola mine plan to include production from Cardinal, which is about 500 m from the Fekola pit and estimated to contain 640 000 oz of gold.
In the first half of the year, B2Gold produced 432 256 oz, including 29 233 oz of attributable production from Calibre, which was about 7% above budget.
Meanwhile, B2Gold reports that the Fekola solar plant has been completed. The $38-million offgrid solar battery hybrid system was initially meant to be completed in August 2020, but construction was suspended in April 2020 because of the Covid-19 pandemic and in January 2021 suffered a fire at the solar storage yard.
With the solar plant now 100% on line, it is expected to reduce Fekola's HFO consumption by more 13-million litres a year of heavy fuel oil and lower carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 39 000 t/y. Solar production to date indicates that the plant will exceed initial power production estimates.
The company says a small crew will be on site until mid-August to ensure that all final commissioning tasks and warranty issues are properly executed.