GOVERNMENT has granted B2Gold a mining license for Otjikoto for 20 years, the Canadian miner said yesterday.
The company, dual-listed on the Namibian and the Toronto stock exchanges, said construction on the mine will start in the first three months of 2013. The Otjikoto mine is expected to reach full-scale production in January 2015.
B2Gold owns 92 per cent in AuryxGold Namibia. The remaining eight per cent belongs to local empowerment group EVI Mining, which includes local business names like that of Leake Hangala and Sidney Martin. The Otjikoto gold project has forecast average annual production of over 100 000 ounces of gold over a ten year mine life based on a preliminary economic assessment released by Auryx Gold in 2011.
Releasing its financial results for the third quarter of 2012 yesterday, B2Gold said exploration, feasibility and development expenditures for Otjikoto were US$15 million for the first nine months of 2012, compared to the full year’s budget of US$43,5 million.
“Although the timing of payments has lagged the original budget, the project remains on schedule,” B2Gold said.
The company said site preparation at Otjikoto has already commenced as bush clearing is currently underway. Orders for equipment with a long lead time will be placed shortly, B2Gold said.
AuryxGold Namibia managing director Bill Lytle told The Namibian yesterday that state-owned Epangelo Mining Company doesn’t have a stake in Otjikoto.