B2Gold Corp. Reports Second Quarter 2017 Results; Achieves Both Higher Gold Production And Lower Costs Than Budget; Fekola Project Mine Construction Remains On Target For An October 1, 2017 Production Start

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Aug. 09, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO) (NYSE MKT:BTG) (NSX:B2G) ("B2Gold" or the "Company") is pleased to announce its operational and financial results for the three and six months ended June 30, 2017. The Company previously released its gold production and revenue for the second quarter of 2017 ( see news release dated 07 / 31 /1 7). All dollar figures are in United States dollars unless otherwise indicated.

2017 Second Quarter Highlights
  • Consolidated gold production of 121,448 ounces, 1% (or 1,611 ounces) above budget  
  • Consolidated gold revenue of $164.3 million on sales of 131,737 ounces at an average price of $1,247 per ounce
  • Consolidated cash operating costs (see "Non-IFRS Measures") of $631 per ounce, $81 per ounce (or 11%) below budget
  • Consolidated all-in sustaining costs ("AISC") (see "Non-IFRS Measures") of $974 per ounce, $185 per ounce (or 16%) below budget
  • Cash flow from operating activities (after non-cash working capital changes) of $48.0 million ($0.05 per share)
  • Strong cash position of $88.2 million at quarter-end
  • Fekola Project mine construction remains 3 months ahead of schedule and on budget for an anticipated October 1, 2017 production start
  • Open-pit mining (hard-rock drilling and blasting) at Fekola commenced in May 2017; as at July 31, 2017, the Fekola Project had stockpiled approximately 1,100,000 tonnes of ore (mining continues)
  • For full-year 2017, the Company has revised its consolidated production guidance range slightly lower (4%) to between 530,000 and 570,000 ounces of gold (previously between 545,000 and 595,000 ounces); overall, consolidated cost guidance remains unchanged
  • 2018 outlook provides for dramatic production growth of approximately 65%, with the planned first full-year of production from the Fekola Project, consolidated annual gold production is expected to increase significantly to between 900,000 and 950,000 ounces with cash operating costs and AISC expected to approximate the Company's 2016 revised cost guidance ranges (of $500 to $535 per ounce for cash operating costs and $780 to $810 per ounce for AISC)

2017 First-Half Highlights
  • Consolidated first-half gold production of 254,184 ounces, 4% (or 9,566 ounces) above budget
  • Consolidated first-half gold revenue of $310.6 million on sales of 251,674 ounces at an average price of $1,234 per ounce
  • Consolidated cash operating costs of $596 per ounce, $81 per ounce (or 12%) below budget
  • Consolidated AISC of $929 per ounce, $226 per ounce (or 20%) below budget
  • Cash flow from operating activities of $87.6 million ($0.09 per share)
  • Subsequent to June 30, 2017, the Company secured a $500 million upsized corporate revolving credit facility, representing a $75 million increase from the existing facility  

2017 Second Quarter and First-Half Operational Results  

Consolidated gold production in the second quarter of 2017 was 121,448 ounces, 1% (or 1,611 ounces) above budget. The above budgeted gold production was attributable to the continued strong operational performances of both the Masbate Mine in the Philippines and Otjikoto Mine in Namibia which together more than offset production shortages from La Libertad and El Limon in Nicaragua (see "Operations" section below). Gold production at El Limon is expected to return to more normal levels by the fourth quarter of 2017, as a result of the successful rehabilitation of a key dewatering well at Santa Pancha 1. Compared to the prior-year quarter, consolidated gold production was lower by 10% (or 13,794 ounces), reflecting the operational issues at La Libertad and El Limon. In addition, the prior-year quarter had benefitted from near record levels of gold production from Masbate as a result of the higher grade ore from Main Vein Stage 1 Pit which is no longer active.  

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