B2Gold produces 242,040 oz Au in Q3 2018
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)
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 (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Kevin Bullock, Robert Melvin Douglas Cross, Robert Joseph Gayton, Clive Thomas Johnson, George Johnson, Jerry R Korpan, Bongani Mtshisi, Robin Weisman
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