Back River Gold – Goose mine gold project, Canada – update

22nd September 2023 By: Sheila Barradas - Creamer Media Research Coordinator & Senior Deputy Editor

Back River Gold – Goose mine gold project, Canada – update

Name of the Project
Back River Gold – Goose mine gold project.

Back River district, in Nunavut, Canada.

Project Owner/s
B2Gold acquired Sabina Gold & Silver Corp in April 2023.

Project Description
The project involves the underground development at the Umwelt deposit and openpit mining at the Echo deposit.

B2Gold has opted for an accelerated underground development plan, which will increase gold output in the first five years to more than 300 000 oz/y.

Potential Job Creation
Not stated.

Net Present Value/Internal Rate of Return
The project has an estimated after-tax net present value, at a 5% discount rate, of C$1.1-billion and an internal rate of return of 28%, with a payback of 2.3 years.

Capital Expenditure
C$800-million, plus C$90-million for accelerating underground development.

Planned Start/End Date
The project is on track to pour its first gold in the first quarter of 2025.

Latest Developments
Goose project infrastructure
B2Gold has reported that all long-lead items for the 2024 construction season have been received at its freight consolidation points, prepped for ship transport. The 2023 sealift is under way, including the delivery of 24-million litres of diesel fuel.

Preparations for the ice road construction are also under way. A request for proposal process has closed and a contractor decision will be made before the end of September.

The execution strategy for the 2024 ice road season involves an earlier start to the road construction than previous years, which contributes to derisking the trucking season. In addition, the ice road construction will start from the middle and work outwards in each direction, which should enable the ice road to be completed earlier than in prior seasons.

Earthworks necessary to extend the airstrip will be completed this month.  Extending the airstrip to 5 000 ft will enable large capacity, fully loaded passenger planes to land at the Goose project during the 2024 construction campaign.

The company recently opened Phase 1 of its accommodation complex to support accelerated construction, mining and exploration activities. Phase 1 of the complex includes 310 beds at the permanent site location and 160 beds located at the existing exploration camp.

Mine development
Mining development is progressing at the Echo openpit, which will be mined out before process plant commissioning to provide tailings storage capacity. Underground mining has exceeded 1 300 m of horizontal development and the initial ventilation raise is expected to be completed in October 2023.

Underground mining is scheduled to mine and backfill the full Umwelt pillar earlier in the mine life than indicated in previous mine plans, which is expected to contribute more than 150 000 oz of gold production to the life-of-mine (LoM) plan. Geotechnical and mine design and engineering continues and is expected to be finalised in the fourth quarter of 2023. The underground development is currently less than 500 m away from starting ore production at the Umwelt crown pillar.

The B2Gold technical team continues to analyse ways to optimise the Goose project LoM plan.

Key Contracts, Suppliers and Consultants
None stated.

Contact Details for Project Information
B2Gold, tel +1 604 681 8371 or email