B2Gold slashes stake in Calibre Mining

Contruction at the Valentine gold project in Newfoundland and Labrador. (Source: Calibre Mining )

B2Gold (TSX: BTO, NYSE-A: BTG) has sold down its stake in Nicaragua producer Calibre Mining (TSX: CXB) to less than 10%, citing market conditions and corporate strategy.

The sale of 79 million shares earned C$139 million and reduced B2Gold’s holding in Calibre from 14%, the major said on Friday.

“B2Gold remains a supportive shareholder of Calibre and does not currently plan to make any additional changes to its interest,” the company said in a release. “Investment considerations including price, market conditions, capital allocation priorities and corporate strategy” influenced the decision, it said.

Calibre is developing the Valentine gold project in Newfoundland, produces 45,000 oz. a year in Nevada and operates the Limon Norte open-pit mine complex about 120 km north of Nicaragua’s capital, Managua. The company has maintained this year’s output guidance of 275,000-300,000 oz. even after a partial wall collapse at Limon weakened production this month.

Shares in Calibre Mining fell nearly 4% on Friday morning to C$1.79 apiece in Toronto, valuing the company at C$1.4 billion. They’ve traded in a 52-week range of C$1.16 to C$2.34.


Vancouver-based B2Gold said this week its Gramalote gold project in Colombia could produce 2.3 million oz. over a 12.5-year open-pit mine life with all-in sustaining costs of $886 per ounce, according to a preliminary economic assessment (PEA).

Gramalote has an after-tax free cash flow of $1.38 billion, a net present value at a 5% discount of $778 million and an internal rate of return of 20.6%, the study showed. B2Gold estimates a pre-production capital cost of $807 million including $93 million for mining equipment and $63 million for contingencies.

B2Gold said Thursday its Springbok zone at the Antelope deposit near the Otjikoto mine in Namibia holds enough gold to start a PEA there. Mining it could start in 2026, it said.

Springbok has 1.75 million inferred tonnes grading 6.91 grams gold per tonne for 390,000 oz. of metal, according to an initial resource estimate. The company is also drilling the Oryx zone, and a possible third structure, Impala, at Antelope, about 3 km south of Otjikoto.


Calibre expects Valentine, which it acquired last year through a buyout of Marathon, to start annual output next year of 195,000 oz. for the first 12 years of a 14.3-year mine life, according to a 2022 feasibility study.

On Thursday, Calibre appointed former Iamgold (TSX: IMG; NYSE: IAG) chief financial officer Daniella Dimitrov to the same position. Dimitrov’s previous roles include investment banking partner at Sprott Capital Partners, CEO of Orvana Minerals (TSX: ORV), executive vice-chair of Baffinland Iron and chief operating officer of Dundee Securities.

The Calibre share sale to less than a 10% holding means B2Gold doesn’t have to report its transactions in Calibre to regulators.

B2Gold also operates gold mines in Mali and the Philippines, and has the Goose project under construction in northern Canada. It’s exploring and developing projects in Mali and Finland.