Record quarterly and annual gold production
B2Gold’s Otjikoto Mine achieved a significant milestone in its operational history achieving a record-breaking 81,111 ounces of gold produced during Q4 2023. For the full year 2023, the Otjikoto Mine produced 208,598 ounces of gold, near the upper end of its guidance range of 190,000 to 210,000 ounces.
A key factor contributing to this production success was the consistent production from the Wolfshag underground mine and Otjikoto open pit mine throughout the quarter and year.
Gold production at Otjikoto is expected to be relatively consistent throughout 2024 with a gold production guidance set between 180,000 to 200,000 ounces of gold. For 2024, the Otjikoto mine plans to process a total of 3.4 million tonnes of ore at an average grade of 1.77 g/t gold, with a process gold recovery rate of 98.0%. Processed ore will be sourced from the Otjikoto pit and the Wolfshag underground mine, supplemented by existing medium and high-grade ore stockpiles.
For 2025, gold production is expected to be between 180,000 and 200,000 ounces, similar to 2024. Ore is expected to be mined from Phase 5 of the Otjikoto open pit and from the Wolfshag underground mine. Mill throughput, gold grade processed, and gold recoveries are all expected to be similar to 2024 levels.
Positive exploration results
Positive exploration drilling results have been received from a new area approximately 3 kilometers south of the Otjikoto mine phase 5 open pit, known as the Antelope deposit. Discovered in 2022 through deep drill testing, the deposit consists of up to three separate mineralized structures, showing promising characteristics for potential future development.
A total of $9 million is budgeted for exploration at Otjikoto in 2024, the largest program since the definition of the Wolfshag discovery in 2012. The focus of the exploration program will be drilling the recently discovered Antelope deposit, with a total of 39,000 m of drilling planned.
As part of the mine’s operational strategy, open pit mining operations are scheduled to ramp down throughout 2024 and conclude in 2025, while underground mining operations at Wolfshag will continue through 2026. Exploration results received to date indicate the potential to extend underground production at Otjikoto past 2026, supplementing the processing operations which will continue until 2031 when economically viable stockpiles are forecast to be exhausted.
Contributed by B2Gold Namibia