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B2Gold meets production guidance for seventh year running

Fekola is located near Mali’s border with Senegal. (Image courtesy of B2Gold presentation)

B2Gold (TSX: BTO) produced 1.03 million oz. gold last year with 367,870 oz. or about 36% of the total coming from the fourth quarter.

Annual production, which included 54,871 oz. of attributable production from Calibre Mining (TSX: CXB), was within B2Gold’s production guidance for the year of 990,000-1.05 million oz. and marked the seventh consecutive year that the company has met or exceeded guidance.

Of its three operating mines — Fekola in Mali, Masbate in the Philippines and Otjikoto in Namibia — Fekola was the stand-out, with record fourth-quarter production of 244,014 oz. and full-year production of 598,661 ounces. High-grade ore from Fekola’s open pit Phase 6 resulted in monthly production records in October and November.

The company expects its 2022 cash operating costs will be in the upper end of its original guidance of $620-$660 per oz., while total consolidated all-in-sustaining costs will come within its guidance range of $1,010-$1,050 per ounce.

This year B2Gold expects total production of 1.0-1.08 million oz., including 60,000-70,000 oz. of attributable production from Calibre Mining, in which it holds a 25% stake.

It forecasts total consolidated cash operating costs this year of $670-$730 per oz., up from 2022 due to inflation. AISCs are forecast to run to $1,195-$1,255 per ounce in 2023.

The company is allocating $64 million for exploration this year, with a focus on areas near its operating mines. But it will also continue to explore its early-stage projects in Finland and Cote d’Ivoire.

Management notes that it also will be working on “target generation and pursuing new opportunities” in gold regions in Africa, South America, the Philippines, Central Asia and Canada.

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