B2Gold flags lift in 2023 costs as pushes on with Fekola capital development

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B2GOLD forecast an increase in costs at its Fekola mine in Mali in 2023 owing to an increase in capital expenditure.

The mine would incur total capex of $352m including $138m in growth capital related to expansion at the Anaconda and Dandoko projects and underground mine development. As a result, all-in sustaining costs (AISC) would come in $1,195 to $1,255 per gold ounce for the group. This compares to AISC of $1,010 to $1,050 in the year ended December 2022.

The capex is before construction of a second mill at Anaconda which, if approved would increase Fekola’s production at least a third to more than 800,000 ounces a year. The mine produced 598,661 oz last year in line with revised guidance of 570,000 to 600,000 oz.

Total production for B2Gold, which also mines at Namibia’s Otjikoto operation, was 1.03 million oz – the third consecutive year of one million plus ounces in production. It has targeted output of one million to 1.08 million oz for the current year.

Commenting on the prospect of expanding, B2Gold said the engineering study was expected during the second quarter. It would be based on processing at least four million tons a year in oxide resources.

“Initial analysis indicates that the combined Fekola and Fekola Regional (Anaconda area) processing facilities could have the potential to produce more than 800,000 oz of gold per year commencing as early as 2026,” the company said.

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