Windhoek, February 10, 2012 – B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO, OTCQX: BGLPF) (“B2Gold”) and Auryx Gold Namibia announced their exploration and project development plans for 2012, now as a successfully merged business entity.
The business combination between Auryx Gold Corp. (Auryx) and B2Gold Corp. (B2Gold) was completed in December 2011 with overwhelming approval from Auryx investors and Namibian regulatory authorities. The combination resulted in B2Gold acquiring a 92% interest in the Otjikoto Gold Project and a 100% interest in two additional exploration projects. The additional 8% of the Otjikoto Gold Project is owned by EVI Mining Ltd, a Broad Based Black Economic Empowerment Group, with whom B2Gold has reached an agreement to provide services and a permanent secondee to Auryx to ensure that input from EVI is included in all decisions.
“The business combination of B2Gold and Auryx Gold is very positive for both shareholders and the stakeholders in Namibia. B2Gold has identified the Otjikoto Gold Project as a key first step for developing a long-standing presence in Namibia and Africa,” states Clive Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of B2Gold.
B2Gold has been successful throughout the world by ensuring that local partnerships are a fundamental of the business model and that capacity development and technology transfer are the backbone of project development. B2 has developed, and maintains, excellent local involvement and community relations in all projects that are developed.
“B2Gold believes in developing projects that are sustainable and in a transparent manner with input from all stakeholders. In light of this, we are certain that with continued support we can develop the Otjikoto Gold Project and provide benefit to shareholders and community stakeholders. In particular we would like to point out the strong support and assistance provided by the Ministry of Mines, the Department of Trade and Industry, the Competition Commission, NamPower, Department of Water Affairs, NamWater and others”, states Clive Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of B2Gold.
Since the finalisation of the business combination, the B2Gold Board of Directors has approved a budget for 2012 of $US 38 million for exploration and project development (a total of more than $N300 million dollars) that includes:
- Developing a technical feasibility study;
- Increase in staff in both Windhoek and the areas around the project;
- Capital expenditures for long lead time items;
- Additional exploration designed to extend the mine life (remembering that the Preliminary Economic Assessment included a mine of more than 10 years) and,
- Capital construction projects that can be completed to expedite the project
B2Gold is cognisant of the varying aspects associated with project development such as adhering to legal tax requirements and employing local persons, to name a few. B2Gold considers that every project that is developed must provide benefit to all stakeholders (including shareholders) and takes corporate social responsibility as a fundamental to their social license to operate. Therefore, B2Gold is developing a trust that will be focused on the Auryx Namibian project areas within which they work.
The fund establishes several phases for development and the company has committed more than $N 1 Million in 2012 for Phase 1 projects in the local communities. Phase 2 will be developed as part of the Bankable Feasibility Study and will consider additional funding based on the results of the economic assessment of the project. B2Gold believes in developing projects that are sustainable and in a transparent manner with input from all stakeholders. Further to this, B2Gold is currently pursuing a listing on the Namibian Stock Exchange.
B2Gold produced approximately 144,000 ounces of gold in 2011 generating cash from mining operations of $US 131 million and had a cash balance of approximately $US 100 million at year end. The company projects gold production of 150,000 – 160,000 ounces in 2012, generating $US 140 million from existing operations. Looking forward, B2Gold is projecting to increase annual production to over 450,000 ounces by 2016 from the development of existing assets.*
* Subject to feasibility study, permitting and financing
For further press information please contact:
Roshaan Patel, Account Executive
T: +27 21 422 2806
For further company information please contact:
T: (264) 416 450
B2Gold Corp. is a Vancouver based gold producer with two mines in Nicaragua and a strong portfolio of development and exploration assets in Nicaragua, Colombia and Uruguay. B2Gold was founded in 2007 by the former executive and management team of Bema Gold Corporation. Bema grew from a junior explorer to an international gold producer that was acquired by Kinross Gold Corporation through a C$3.5 billion transaction in February 2007. B2Gold’s corporate objective is to build further shareholder value through the exploration and development of existing projects and additional accretive acquisitions, capitalizing on the extensive experience and relationships that management has developed over the past 25 years. B2Gold has a current market capitalisation of C$1.5 billion and trades on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol “BTO” and on the OTCQX under the symbol “BGLPF”.
About Auryx Gold Namibia
Auryx Gold Namibia is a wholly owned subsidiary of B2Gold Corp. Auryx Gold Namibia is currently advancing the Otjikoto gold project, located 300 km north of Namibia’s capital city, Windhoek. By virtue of its location, the project benefits significantly from Namibia’s well established infrastructure with paved highways, a railway, power grids, and process water all close by. Located in the western part of southern Africa, Namibia is lauded as one of the continent’s most politically and socially stable jurisdictions.