B2Gold exceeds annual production guidance

Canada-headquartered B2Gold, with mines in Namibia, Mali and the Philippines, achieved a seventh consecutive year of meeting or exceeding annual production guidance, with a total gold production of over a million ounces in 2022, generating N$33,6 billion in annual revenue.

This annual revenue of US$1,73 billion is largely on the back of good international prices, which have since 2022 soared as central banks hold more gold.

Prices in March this year were already 51% higher than their 2015 to 2019 average.

For the first three months of 2023, the price of gold has already increased by 9%, and predictions by the World Bank Group’s analysts is that prices are expected to average US$1 900 per troy ounce in 2023 – 6% higher than in 2022.

According to the annual responsible mining report released last week, the company expects to continue its strong operational performance, forecasting a total consolidated gold production of between 1 million and 1,08 million ounces for this year.

In announcing the release of the reports, Clive Johnson, the president and chief executive officer of B2Gold, praised the global teams for the work they have done to enhance social and environmental performance.

Johnson said the company’s total consolidated cash operating costs for the year are forecast to be between US$670 and US$730 per ounce, and the total consolidated all-in sustaining costs are forecasted to be between US$1 195 and US$1 255 per ounce.

Otjikoto Mine in Namibia sold 155 540 ounces of gold for US$280 394 000, with adjusted cash operating costs amounting to US$86,492 million.

Capital expenditure amounted to US$79,096 million, while employee wages and benefits hit US$40,963, and dividends US$4,277 million.
The government received US$37,700 million, while community investment involved US$1,985 million.

“In 2022, we contributed US$382 million in taxes and royalties in our three primary jurisdictions of operation (Mali, the Philippines and Namibia).

“Our tax and royalty contributions represented 24% of the total revenue we made for the year,” said Johnson.

He said as part of its social responsibility, Otjikoto Mine has consistently focused on improving local procurement levels since the initial construction of the mine.

“Over 76% of procurement in 2022 came from in-country purchases, with approximately US$1 million spent directly on small and medium enterprises within the mine’s area of influence,” he said.

In 2022, Treron, which provides construction and maintenance services to the mine, provided opportunities to young people with little education, or a lack of previous experience.

Treron employed 44 young people on fixed-term contracts, some of whom had the opportunity to receive additional training and employment at Otjikoto Mine, Johnson said.

He said B2Gold recognises that society, including the business sector, must act against climate change, working with governments and communities to support the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Johnson said the successful completion of the Otjikoto-NamPower grid connection project is testament to B2Gold Namibia’s investment in sustainable and responsible mining practices.

“By reducing both costs and carbon emissions, the project not only benefits the company’s bottom line, but also contributes to a healthier planet for all.

“B2Gold Namibia remains committed to continuing its efforts towards sustainable mining practices and making positive contributions to its surrounding communities and environment,” he said.

Johnson said the effective eradication and management of invasive plant species and the transplant of indigenous species on topsoil stockpiles and rehabilitation sites will enhance the functionality and sustainability of disturbed areas, thus paving the way to successful ecological restoration at Otjikoto.

Approximately 3 350 indigenous trees from the company’s nursery have been transplanted since 2020.

Johnson said responsible storage, handling and disposal of mineral, non-mineral and hazardous waste are central components of sound environmental management.

“Our commitment to responsible mining includes reducing mine waste by maximising recovery and recycling processes throughout the mine’s life cycle.

“Responsible management of tailings is essential for protecting both the environment and human health. In response to several high-profile tailings dam failures, the mining industry continues to research and develop tailings and waste management solutions and practical tools to achieve the safe and secure management of mine tailings facilities.”

Johnson said an integrated mine closure framework was developed in 2021 to guide the progression of Otjikoto’s closure planning and to align conservation and community investment activities accordingly.

“In 2022, the development of a comprehensive mine closure plan incorporating environmental, social and human resources, and financial aspects was initiated, building on the earlier closure framework.

“The retention and motivation of personnel continues to be important during mine closure planning, and, as a result, Otjikoto will continue to focus on internal engagement over the course of 2023,” Johnson said.
– email: bottomline@namibian.com.na

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