Canada-based bullion miner B2Gold has achieved its thirteenth consecutive year of record gold production, with output of 1.05-million ounces in 2021.
The Toronto-listed company’s consolidated gold production from its three operating mines, of 987 595 oz, was near the top end of its revised guidance range of between 965 000 oz and 995 000 oz and exceeded the upper end of its original guidance.
The Masbate mine, in the Philippines, and Otjikoto mine, in Namibia, both achieved record gold production and Fekola, in Mali, had a strong year with output near the top end of its guidance.
Masbate produced 222 227 oz and Otjikoto produced 197 573 oz, while Fekola output was 567 795 oz.
B2Gold is forecasting output of 900 000 oz to 1.05-million ounces, including 40 000 oz to 50 000 oz attributable from Calibre, in 2022, at an all-in sustaining cost of $1 010/oz to $1 050/oz.
Regarding sanctions on Mali by the Economic Community of West African States, including closures of borders with the country, B2Gold stated that Fekola continued to operate unimpeded and that it would meet its 2022 guidance.
The miner also noted that its guidance did not include potential upside to increase Fekola’s production from trucking material from the Anaconda area, which comprises the Menankoto permit and the Bantako North permit.
The company has demonstrated that a pit situated on the Bantako North permit area could provide saprolite material for about two years to feed the Fekola mill, starting in 2022.
B2Gold and Mali also last month reached an agreement over the Menankoto permit, resulting in the mining company withdrawing arbitration proceedings against the State. Upon issuance of the new Menankoto permit, the company would resume its exploration drilling programme.
Overall, B2Gold has budgeted $65-million for a year of "aggressive" exploration, including a record $29-million for grassroots exploration in Finland, Uzbekistan, Zimbabwe and several new regions.