B2GOLD reported lower first quarter revenue year-on-year of some $362m as a result of lower sales although offset by an improvement in the gold price.
The gold price received for the first three months of the 2021 year was $1,791/oz compared to $1,588/oz achieved in the first quarter of last year.
B2Gold said it expected to generate $630m in cash flow for the 2021 financial year based on current assumptions of a $1,800/oz gold price.
First quarter gold production of 220,644 ounces was 17% lower than in the corresponding quarter of the previous financial year owing to waste stripping at the firm’s Fekola and Ojikoto mines in Mali and Namibia respectively.
The Toronto-listed gold producer has forecast gold production this year of between 970,000 and 1,030,000 oz, including production from mines held in its Calibre investment.
Guidance excludes potential to increase Fekola’s gold production from the nearby Cardinal resource and processing capacity which is currently being investigated, it said.
Fekola production comprised just over half of the total at some 125,088 oz, about 7% above budget owing to the high performance of the Fekola processing facilities.
Following the completion of the Fekola mill expansion to 7.5 million tons a year (Mtp/y) – an increase of 1.5 Mtpy from an assumed base rate of 6 Mtpa – mill throughput was a quarterly record of 2.07Mt in the first quarter of 2021, 9% above budget and 19% higher than the first quarter of 2020, B2Gold said.