B2Gold Corp. Reports on Fourth Quarter 2010 Gold Production and
2011 Production and
Exploration Plans and Budget
Corp. (TSX: BTO, OTCQX: BGLPF) ("B2Gold" or the
"Company"), is pleased to announce its gold production figures for
the fourth quarter of 2010 and outlines the Company's gold production and
cost projections for 2011 and exploration plans and budgets. All dollar
figures are in United States dollars unless otherwise indicated.
- Record gold production for
the fourth quarter 2010 of 37,000 ounces
- 2011 production guidance
increased to 135,000 ounces of gold
Project Colombia (Joint Venture with AngloGold Ashanti Limited
("AngloGold")) - Exploration drilling, prefeasibility drilling
and engineering are ongoing
- La Libertad Mine and Limon
Mine exploration drilling is ongoing
Property (Joint Venture with Radius Gold Inc. ("Radius") - Exploration drilling continues
Project, Uruguay - Exploration drilling underway
- Total of exploration budgets
for 2011 approximately $35 million - drilling approximately 58,000 metres
- 2010 year end cash position
of approximately $70 million - no hedging and no debt
Fourth Quarter Highlights
B2Gold achieved record consolidated gold production
for La Libertad and Limon mines in Nicaragua in the fourth quarter of 2010,
producing 37,000 ounces of gold. Total gold production for 2010 was
approximately 109,000 ounces.
At La Libertad open pit mine, 2010 was a successful
production ramp up year with commercial production commencing in February.
The installation of a second ball mill was completed in August and the mine
ramped up to the 5,500 tonnes per day design
throughput capacity in the fourth quarter. Total production for 2010 from La
Libertad was approximately 68,600 ounces of gold. In the fourth quarter
approximately 26,800 ounces of gold were produced.
The Limon open pit and underground mine recorded its
most successful year in the past six years, producing approximately 40,100
ounces of gold. Approximately 10,000 ounces of gold were produced in the
The main reasons for the improved production at the
Limon Mine in 2010 were: new more efficient mining equipment and improvements
to the gold recovery circuit and no lost time due to illegal strikes during
La Libertad Property and Limon Property Exploration
In 2010 the Company continued with successful
exploration drilling programs on numerous targets at La Libertad property and
Limon property (see news
releases dated December 14, 2010 and September 22, 2010 ). In 2011 the Company
will continue with aggressive exploration drilling programs on the large
properties that surround the mines. At La Libertad property B2Gold plans to
expend $4.6 million to drill 19,000 metres utilizing three drill rigs. At the
Limon property the 2011 exploration budget totals $3.2 million funding 10,000
metres of drilling utilizing two drill rigs. B2Gold's exploration team
believes that results to date indicate the potential to increase not only the
mine life of each project, but also the potential to outline higher grade ore
that could significantly increase annual gold production. Exploration
drilling is ongoing at both properties.
Production Guidance 2011
B2Gold is projecting another record year for gold
production in 2011, with consolidated production from La Libertad and Limon
Mines in Nicaragua estimated to total approximately 135,000 ounces of gold at
a cash operating cost of approximately $540 to $560 per ounce. The mines are
projecting a total of approximately $90 million in cash from operations based
on a gold price of $1,300 per ounce. B2Gold has no debt and no gold hedging.
Based on its current plans, budgets and metal forecasts, the Company is
estimating to have approximately $60 million in cash at the end of 2011.
La Libertad Mine
With the full production ramp up completed in 2010
La Libertad Mine is projected to produce approximately 90,000 ounces of gold
in 2011 at an operating cash cost of approximately $440 to $460 per ounce.
Cash from operations at La Libertad Mine is projected at approximately $70
million (at $1,300 per ounce gold price). The Company has budgeted
significant capital costs at La Libertad in 2011, totaling approximately $28
million. The majority of this capital cost will be expended on pre-stripping
to access future ore by enlarging existing pits, a tailings pond expansion
and mill upgrades. Capital costs for 2012 are expected to be significantly
The Limon Mine is projected to produce approximately
45,000 ounces of gold in 2011, an increase from 2010 production of 40,125
ounces of gold. Operating cash costs for 2011 are projected at approximately
$720 to $740 per ounce of gold.
The high projected operating costs are due largely
to the haulage costs of delivering a portion of the open pit ore. After the
2011 underground development work the Company anticipates mining more
material from underground in closer proximity to the mill which should reduce
In 2011 the Limon Mine is projected to generate
approximately $20 million cash from operations (assuming a gold price of $1,300
The Company plans to undertake significant capital
expenditures at the Limon Mine in 2011 totaling approximately $20 million.
The majority of this capital expenditure will fund a major underground mine
development program, surface mine pre stripping and tailings pond
construction. The underground development work will access deeper ore at the
Santa Pancha vein, which would add approximately three years of production.
Capital expenditures for 2012 are expected to be significantly lower.
2011 Exploration and Development
In addition to the large exploration drilling
programs at La Libertad Mine property and the Limon Mine property the Company
will carry out extensive exploration programs on the Company's other
properties in 2011.
Gramalote Property, Colombia
The Gramalote property is located 230 kilometres
("km") northwest of Bogota and 80 km northeast of Medellin in
central Colombia and has excellent access and infrastructure. The project is
a 49%-51% B2Gold-AngloGold joint venture and has a 2011 prefeasibility and
exploration budget of $30 million (100%). This budget will fund 15,000 metres
of diamond drilling utilizing four drill rigs for the exploration of
additional targets on the property, infill drilling of the Gramalote deposit,
and engineering studies. In addition, the budget will fund prefeasibility
work including additional environmental studies, metallurgical test work and
engineering. Each joint venture partner will fund their share of expenditures
The two companies plan to continue exploration and
conduct prefeasibility work in 2011 and into 2012, with the goal of
completing a final feasibility study by the end of 2012.
Cebollati Property, Uruguay
The Cebollati property consists of ten claims
totaling 34,200 hectares covering a belt of 50 km long by 10 to 15 km wide
located in the Department of Lavalleja, 180 km by good paved road from the
capital city Montevideo. B2Gold has an option to earn a majority interest in
the Cebollati property by funding exploration work through to feasibility.
The 2011 exploration program for the Cebollati
project has a budget of $4.5 million which includes 10,000 metres of
drilling. Drilling commenced on the property in December 2010. The purpose of
the drilling program is to test the bulk mining potential of the property,
following up on the high grade surface gold mineralization, soil geochemical
anomalies and the recently released high grade trench results (see news release dated November
Trebol and Pavon Properties, Nicaragua
B2Gold has the right to earn a 60% interest from
joint venture partner Radius in the Trebol and Pavon properties located in
northeastern Nicaragua. On the Trebol property, the 2011 exploration budget
of $2.1 million is to fund 3,000 metres of drilling to follow up good grade
geochemical and trench results from the 2010 program. Drilling has
recommenced. B2Gold has identified three new drill targets located along the
6 km northeast trending belt of continuously mineralzed volcanic rock. The 6
km zone is situated in a larger, 22 km corridor of anomalous gold values.
The Pavon property has a 2011 exploration budget of
$0.3 million to fund 1,000 metres of drilling. The drilling program is intended
to confirm a small high grade deposit that could be shipped to the Limon Mine
Borosi Property, Nicaragua
The Company has the right to earn up to a 65%
interest in the Borosi project, located in northeast
Nicaragua owned by Calibre Mining Corp. B2Gold has a 2011 exploration budget
of $0.75 million for further exploration on the property by the companies.
In total, B2Gold's combined 2011 exploration and
development budgets total approximately $35 million and will fund
approximately 58,000 metres of diamond drilling.
In conclusion, B2Gold is looking forward to another
active and productive year in 2011. Whilst the Company will be funding
significant investments in capital costs at its mines and large exploration
budgets, we anticipate ending 2011 with approximately $60 million in the
treasury based on current planned programs and budgets and our metal price
Tom Garagan, Senior Vice President of Exploration, is a Qualified Person for B2Gold Corp. as
defined by National Instrument 43-101.
On Behalf of B2GOLD CORP.
"Clive T. Johnson"
President and Chief Executive Officer
For more information on B2Gold please visit the
Company web site at www.b2gold.com or contact:
Vice President, Investor Relations
Manager, Investor Relations
The Toronto Stock Exchange neither approves nor
disapproves the information contained in this News Release.
The securities described herein have not been and
will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as
amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent
registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.
Some of the statements contained in this release are
forward-looking statements, such as estimates and statements that describe
the Company's future plans, objectives or goals, including words to the
effect that the Company or management expects a stated condition or result to
occur. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions,
by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual
results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated
in such statements.