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B2Gold records positive exploration results at Mali project

Tue Sep 17 2019

 

Canada-headquartered B2Gold has reported positive drill results from the Mamba zone, which is located within the Anaconda area about 20 km from its Fekola mine, as well as positive infill drill results from the Fekola mineral resource area and step-out results north of the Fekola resource.

 

It has extended the shallow, high-grade saprolite mineralised zone at Mamba by about 600 m to more than 1 km of strike length.

 

Exploration has resulted in the discovery of a new wide, good grade sulphide zone directly beneath the Mamba saprolite zone. The sulphide zone is open down plunge to the south, indicating the potential for Fekola-type gold deposits, B2Gold says.

 

Drilling in Mali has been focused on increasing the Anaconda area saprolite resource, testing mineralised zones beneath the shallow saprolite zones, infill drilling the inferred portion of the Fekola mineral resource to indicated status and expanding the Fekola deposit further to the north.

 

Meanwhile, drilling is ongoing at Fekola. This includes a reconnaissance programme on the Cardinal zone, less than 1 km west of the Fekola openpit mine.

 

Drilling on the Anaconda area, to test the extension of the saprolite zones and further explore the sulphide mineralisation below is scheduled to restart in the fourth quarter.

 

An additional 30 000 m of drilling is planned for completion before year-end and the company expects to continue with an aggressive exploration programme in 2020.

 

Meanwhile, B2Gold continues with plans to expand the Fekola mine’s processing throughput by 1.5-million tonnes a year to 7.5-million tonnes a year.

 

Once completed, Fekola is expected to produce more gold over a longer life, with more robust economics and higher average yearly gold production, revenues and cash flows than the previous life-of-mine (LoM).

 

The processing upgrade at Fekola will focus on increased ball mill power, with upgrades to other components including a new cyclone classification system, pebble crushers and additional leach capacity to support the higher throughput and increase operability.

 

Critical path items include ball mill motors and the lime slaker, both of which the company expects to be commissioned in the third quarter of 2020.

 

In parallel with the expansion, B2Gold has initiated the detailed engineering and construction of a 30 MW solar power plant, to reduce operating costs and greenhouse-gas emissions.

 

Completion of the solar plant is scheduled for the third quarter of 2020. The current on-site power plant, however, has sufficient capacity to support the expanded processing throughput, with or without the solar plant.

 

Construction for the mine expansion will begin in October and is scheduled to be completed by the end of July 2020. All major long-lead equipment has been ordered. Detailed engineering design activities are progressing well and are scheduled to be completed by October.

 

Based on B2Gold's current projections, gold production at the Fekola mine in 2020 is projected to be about 600 000 oz of gold, primarily owing to the addition of a larger mining fleet at Fekola and the optimisation of the mining sequence early in 2020, prior to completion of the mill expansion by September, providing access to higher grade portions of the deposit earlier on in the sequence.

 

Source: https://www.miningweekly.com