B2Gold’s strong growth path in Africa looks like continuing into future years after the company laid out preliminary plans to develop a mine in Burkina Faso that could use on-site hybrid power in addition to dual fuel haul trucks burning a mix of diesel fuel and LNG.
The Vancouver-based miner reported record total production in 2020 of 1.04 Moz of gold, with its Fekola (Mali) and Ojikoto (Namibia) mines contributing some 790,559 oz. It is guiding for 970,000- 1.03 Moz of gold in 2021.
In announcing these results, the company also provided an update on its Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso.
This project, which B2Gold owns 81% of, currently hosts 4.25 Moz of indicated resources on a 100% basis at an average grade of 0.95 g/t Au. It also comes with 900,000 oz of inferred resources at 0.99 g/t.
The company is currently updating the existing feasibility study for the Kiaka project, reflecting, it says, the potential for improved economics resulting from lower fuel prices, alternative power options and a higher gold price.
A mineral resource model using additional drill results and revised model interpretations was completed in December, with the study set to leverage the new resource and several new concepts to reduce costs. Included among these new concepts is a plan to use a liquid natural gas (LNG) hybrid power plant combined with solar power, and dual fuel haul trucks that burn a mix of diesel fuel and LNG.
A larger processing plant size of 12 Mt/y is also being considered for this updated feasibility study, it said.
B2Gold expects to have an internal decision document completed by the end of March, with an updated feasibility study completed by the end of June.