B2Gold offloads Nicaraguan assets, becomes Calibre’s main shareholder
Mid-tier Canadian miner B2Gold (TSX:BTO)(NYSE: BTG) has completed the sale of its El Limon and La Libertad gold mines, the Pavon gold project and other mineral concessions in Nicaragua to explorer and developer Calibre Mining (TSXV:CXB).
The $100-million transaction, announced in July, involved cash payments and shares, which turned B2Gold into Calibre’s biggest shareholder, with an approximate 31% direct equity interest.
Concurrently with the closing, the Vancouver-based company and Calibre entered into an investor rights agreement which provides, among other things, that for so long as B2Gold holds at least 10% of the issued and outstanding Calibre shares, it will have pro-rata participation rights and piggyback registration rights.
The El Limon and La Libertad mines have produced more than 1.4 million ounces of gold since 2010. They are responsible for a large percentage of Nicaragua’s gold exports, and collectively they are the largest individual exporting operations in the country. Combined production from the two mines is projected to be between 150,000 and 160,000 ounces this year.
The Pavon project, 150 km to the north of La Libertad, has indicated resources of 290,000 tonnes grading 5.82 g/t gold for 55,000 contained ounces.
The news comes only a month after the company inked a deal with long-time partner AngloGold Ashanti to increase its stake in their Gramalote project in Colombia to 50% and take control of it.
B2Gold believes that Gramalote project, located 230 km. northwest of Colombia’s capital Bogotá, has the potential to become a large, low-cost open pit gold mine.
B2Gold currently owns three other producing mines, including the Fekola mine in Mali — one of the world’s largest gold operations.