B2Gold Namibia, developer of the N$370 million Otjikoto Gold Project, has been granted a 20-year-Mining Licence by the Ministry of Mines and Energy.
In a statement to shareholders, parent company, Vancouver-based mid tier gold producer B2Gold Corp said the granting of the licence was the last major requirement before the start of a full scale mine construction, slated for the first quarter of next year.
Construction of the mine is expected to last two years with the first gold production from the mine projected for the fourth quarter of 2014 and the first full year of production being 2015.
The Otjikoto gold project is expected to produce over 100,000 ounces of gold over a ten-year mine life based on a Preliminary Economic Assessment released by Auryx Gold Corp. in September 2011, however, a B2Gold feasibility study that is nearing completion, is expected to recommend a production Base Case that outlines significantly higher projected annual gold production in the first five years of the mine life.
B2Gold said it is well placed to advance development at the Otjikoto gold project given its existing cash position, cash from operations and strong financing capability and a management team with significant mine development and operating experience.
In order to maintain the construction schedule, early works have been completed that include de-bushing of the areas where surface structures will be located; securing construction camp facilities; sourcing construction power, and establishing recruiting offices in the towns near the mine site.
The Otjikoto gold project is 92% owned by B2Gold while local partner, EVI Mining led by BEE magnate, Dr. Leake Hangala, has an 8% ownership interest.