As the B2Gold Corporation released its quarterly gold production report for the first quarter in 2016, apart from the US$144.3 million made in gold revenue, the company also announced that its Otjikoto Mine in Namibia experienced a slope failure on the pit access ramp.
Slope failure accidents are one of the leading causes of fatalities at open surface mining operations across the world.
The company Canadian-headquartered mining company was however quick to point out that the failure did not result in any injuries.
“The Otjikoto mine experienced a slope failure on the pit access ramp. The failure, which did not result in any injuries or damage to equipment, occurred on a fault plane that had been activated by the recent rainy season. The stability of the slope above and below the access ramp had been monitored for several months,” B2Gold said in the quarterly report.
It added that: “Safety and production mitigation measures were planned and implemented prior to the failure. As a result of implementing these measures, second quarter and full year 2016 production at the Otjikoto mine are not expected to be impacted.” The highlights for the quarter, according to B2Gold, include the consolidated gold production of 127,844 ounces-a 10% increase compared to the same period last year-when production stood at 115 859 last year.
“The increase in gold production
was primarily attributable to strong quarterly production from the Company´s Masbate mine in the Philippines and La Libertad mine in Nicaragua. The Otjikoto mine in Namibia was in line with budget while El Limon mine in Nicaragua was slightly behind budget, mainly due to the lower grade processed in the first quarter of 2016.”
It also listed the completion of financing arrangements for US$120 million in prepaid gold sales and signing a commitment letter to enter into a Euro equivalent of US$81 million equipment facility with caterpillar SARL for its Fekola project where construction of the Fekola mine is underway. Production is scheduled to commence late next year.
B2Gold said in the report that, according to its first quarter results, it is on track to meet its 2016 consolidated gold production guidance of between 510 000 to 550 000 ounces.
This means it has to attain a gold production output of at least 382 156 ounces to meet its annual target.