B2GOLD, the majority shareholder in the Otjikoto gold project, has about N$1,3 billion to develop its planned open pit mine approximately 300 km north of Windhoek.
The Canada-based company has secured a US150 million revolving corporate loan facility from Macquarie Bank, a global investment bank, B2Gold said in a statement.
The feasibility study for Otjikoto is also completed, the company said. It showed probable ore reserves containing 1,34 million ounces of gold, giving the mine a life of 12 years.
Construction has began and should be finished in the fourth quarter of 2014 when mill production will start, B2Gold said. B2Gold's pre-production investment in Otjikoto will be more than N$2 billion.
The company aims to produce an average of about 141 000 ounces of gold per annum for the first five years.
Otjikoto has "excellent exploration potential", B2Gold said. Positive results from an aggressive exploration drilling programme adjacent to the planned Otjikoto pit indicate "significant exploration upside and the potential to outline additional resources which could lead to the expansion of through-put capacity and increase annual average gold production," the company said.
B2Gold last year became the 64th company to list on the Namibian Stock Exchange. The company owns 92% in AuryxGold Namibia, with the remaining 8% belonging to local empowerment group EVI Mining, which includes local business names like that of Leake Hangala and Sidney Martin.
B2Gold also runs successful gold mines in Nicaragua, Colombia and Uruguay.