B2Gold pushes out Gramalote feasibility study to mid-2022

The Gramalote gold project, located 230 km. northwest of Colombia’s capital Bogotá (Image courtesy of B2Gold.)

Canada’s B2Gold (TSX, NYSE: BTO) has delayed completion of a feasibility study for its Gramalote gold project, which is developing with AngloGold Ashanti (JSE: ANG)(NYSE: AU)(ASX: AGG), in Antioquia, Colombia.

The company cited a “strong” potential to improve the economics of the project as main reason the schedule adjustment. It added it now expects to publish the study by the end of the second quarter, with the full feasibility study completed by the end of the third quarter of 2022.

B2Gold’s approach builds on previous work by AngloGold Ashanti, but seeks a different angle in terms of capital model, infrastructure optimization and building the resource, the miner said while delivering first quarter results.

The miner noted it had revised up the budget for the study to $69 million from the $52 million estimated last year, adding that a decision on whether to go ahead with the open-pit project is expected by the end of the third quarter.

Gramalote was B2Gold’s first project when it was an exploration company starting out. In 2015, it received the first environmental license awarded in Colombia in 35 years. The permit gave the partners three years to work through social aspects related to the project, including relocating artisanal miners and some residents in the area.

Gramalote, located 230 km. northwest of Colombia’s capital Bogotá, is forecast to produce 2.97 million ounces of gold and average annual production of 347,000 ounces per year for the first five full years of operations.

AngloGold is simultaneously trying to move ahead with its Quebradona copper and gold project, which suffered a fresh blow this week after the country’s environmental regulator, ANLA, refused to reopen the miner’s application to the environmental licence for the asset due to lack of information on the project’s area of influence.