B2Gold pro­duces 242,040 oz Au in Q3 2018

Stockwatch Daily - - MINES & METALS - Mr. Clive John­son re­ports

B2GOLD CORP. has re­leased its gold pro­duc­tion and gold rev­enue for the third quar­ter and first nine months of 2018. All dol­lar fig­ures are in U.S. dol­lars un­less oth­er­wise in­di­cated. High­lights for third quar­ter of 2018:

• Record quar­terly con­sol­i­dated gold pro­duc­tion of 242,040 ounces, a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease of 78 per cent (106,412 ounces) over the same pe­riod last year and in line with bud­get, due to the con­tin­ued strong per­for­mances of the Fekola mine in Mali, the Mas­bate mine in the Philip­pines and the Otjikoto mine in Namibia;

• Con­sol­i­dated gold rev­enue of $324-mil­lion, a sig­nif­i­cant in­crease of 110 per cent ($170-mil­lion) over the same pe­riod last year;

• The Fekola mine con­tin­ued to op­er­ate above plan, pro­duc­ing 107,002 ounces of gold in the quar­ter;

• The Mas­bate mine had gold pro­duc­tion of 57,542 ounces, the sec­ond-high­est quar­terly pro­duc­tion ever for the mine;

• Based on Mas­bate’s strong year-to-date per­for­mance, Mas­bate’s an­nual pro­duc­tion guid­ance has been re­vised higher to be be­tween 200,000 and 210,000 ounces of gold (orig­i­nal guid­ance was be­tween 180,000 and 190,000 ounces);

• The Mas­bate mine con­tin­ued its re­mark­able safety per­for­mance, ex­tend­ing the num­ber of days with­out a lost-time in­jury to al­most three years (1,083 days) by quar­ter-end;

• Based on ex­ten­sive ex­plo­ration drilling, the com­pany is com­plet­ing a new min­eral re­source for the Fekola de­posit, in­clud­ing a por­tion of the Fekola North ex­ten­sion, ex­pected to be re­leased in the sec­ond half of Oc­to­ber, 2018, and is also con­duct­ing en­gi­neer­ing and other tech­ni­cal stud­ies to as­cer­tain the po­ten­tial for ex­pand­ing the cur­rent Fekola mine, with ini­tial re­sults ex­pected to be re­leased in the first quar­ter of 2019.

High­lights for first nine months of 2018:

• Record con­sol­i­dated year-to-date gold pro­duc­tion of 721,817 ounces, 5 per cent (31,888 ounces) above orig­i­nal bud­get and 85 per cent (332,005 ounces) higher than the first nine months of 2017;

• Record con­sol­i­dated year-to-date gold rev­enue of $953-mil­lion on record year-to-date sales of 749,102 ounces at an aver­age price of $1,272 per ounce;

• The 2018 Mali ex­plo­ration bud­get has been in­creased by $4-mil­lion (from $15-mil­lion to $19-mil­lion), based on good drill re­sults to date, to ac­cel­er­ate the cur­rent Fekola North ex­ten­sion zone drill pro­gram;

• B2Gold is well on tar­get to achieve trans­for­ma­tional growth in 2018 and cur­rently ex­pects to meet the up­per end of its re­vised gold pro­duc­tion guid­ance range of be­tween 920,000 and 960,000 ounces (orig­i­nal guid­ance was be­tween

910,000 and 950,000 ounces) in 2018 at cash op­er­at­ing costs of be­tween $505 and $550 per ounce and all-in sus­tain­ing costs (AISC) of be­tween $780 and $830 per ounce.

The strong op­er­a­tional per­for­mances by the Fekola, Mas­bate and Otjikoto mines off­set the pro­duc­tion short­falls re­lat­ing to the com­pany’s La Lib­er­tad and El Li­mon mines in Nicaragua, af­fected by the na­tional po­lit­i­cal un­rest. In light of La Lib­er­tad’s un­der­per­for­mance, for full-year 2018, the La Lib­er­tad mine is now fore­cast to pro­duce be­tween 90,000 and 95,000 ounces of gold (orig­i­nal guid­ance range was 115,000 to 120,000 ounces).

With the Fekola mine in pro­duc­tion, the re­sult­ing in­crease in gold pro­duc­tion lev­els com­bined with low costs have dra­mat­i­cally in­creased B2Gold’s pro­duc­tion, rev­enues, cash from op­er­a­tions and free cash flows, with con­tin­u­ing ben­e­fits ex­pected to con­tinue for many years, based on cur­rent as­sump­tions. If a gold price as­sump­tion of $1,200 per ounce is used for the bal­ance of 2018 and for 2019 and 2020, the com­pany ex­pects to aver­age cash flow from op­er­a­tions of ap­prox­i­mately $400-mil­lion per year over the next three years.

(See BTO Ta­ble 1 on page 3)

Out­look

Look­ing for­ward, the com­pany will re­main fo­cused on max­i­miz­ing cash flows by con­tin­u­ing its im­pres­sive op­er­a­tional and fi­nan­cial per­for­mance from ex­ist­ing mines. In ad­di­tion, the com­pany will con­tinue pay­ing down debt, pur­su­ing ex­pan­sion op­por­tu­ni­ties at ex­ist­ing op­er­a­tions, and con­tin­u­ing with ag­gres­sive ex­plo­ration and de­vel­op­ment pro­grams to un­lock the ul­ti­mate po­ten­tial of its ex­ist­ing port­fo­lio of prop­er­ties. The com­pany will also con­tinue to pur­sue grass­roots ex­plo­ration tar­gets through ac­qui­si­tions and joint ven­tures.

We seek Safe Har­bor.

Erika Flores con­densed this news re­lease (erikaf@stock­watch.com).

Kevin Bul­lock, Robert Melvin Dou­glas Cross, Robert Joseph Gay­ton, Clive Thomas John­son, Ge­orge John­son, Jerry R Kor­pan, Bongani Mt­shisi, Robin Weis­man

(BTO) Shares: 989,258,048

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