VANCOUVER - B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO) (NYSE AMERICAN: BTG) (NSX: B2G) ('B2Gold' or the 'Company') is pleased to announce its gold production and gold revenue for the third quarter and first nine months of 2020.
2020 Third Quarter Highlights
Consolidated gold production of 248,733 ounces from the Company's three operating mines, above budget by 1% (2,929 ounces) and a significant increase of 17% (35,455 ounces) over the third quarter of 2019 (excluding discontinued operations of El Limon and La Libertad)
Total gold production of 263,813 ounces (including 15,080 ounces of attributable production from Calibre Mining Corp. ('Calibre'))
Record quarterly consolidated gold revenue of $487 million, a significant increase of $176 million (57%) over the third quarter of 2019 (excluding discontinued operations)
The Fekola Mine continues to operate unimpeded and no operational days have been lost due to the recent political developments and demonstrations in Mali
No Lost-Time-Injury ('LTI') incidents at the Company's operating mines, extending the number of days without an LTI to 255 days for Fekola, 684 days for Masbate and 918 days for Otjikoto as at September 30, 2020
On August 5, 2020, the Company announced a 100% increase of its quarterly dividend to $0.04 per share (or an expected $0.16 per share on an annual basis), which was reflected in the third quarter dividend payment
On September 10, 2020, the Company announced the successful commissioning of the Fekola mill expansion to 7.5 million tonnes per annum ('Mtpa') (an increase of 1.5 Mtpa from an assumed base rate of 6 Mtpa), ahead of the scheduled completion date of September 30, 2020; the Fekola mill has the potential to run above the annualized throughput rate of 7.5 Mtpa and analysis is currently underway to determine the optimum throughput rate
B2Gold maintains a strong financial position and liquidity; the Company is now debt-free (other than mining equipment loans and leases totaling approximately $50 million as at September 30, 2020) after fully repaying the outstanding Revolving Credit Facility ('RCF') balance of $425 million during the third quarter of 2020 with the full amount of the $600 million RCF now undrawn and available
About B2Gold Corp.
B2Gold is a low-cost international senior gold producer headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2007, today, B2Gold has operating gold mines in Mali, Namibia and the Philippines and numerous exploration and development projects in various countries including Mali, Colombia and Burkina Faso. B2Gold continues to forecast total consolidated gold production of between 1,000,000 and 1,055,000 ounces in 2020.
Production results and production guidance presented in this news release reflect total production at the mines B2Gold operates on a 100% project basis.
This news release includes certain 'forward-looking information' and 'forward-looking statements' (collectively forward-looking statements') within the meaning of applicable Canadian and United States securities legislation, including: projections; outlook; guidance; forecasts; estimates and other statements regarding future or estimated financial and operational performance, gold production and sales, revenues and cash flows, and capital costs (sustaining and non-sustaining) and operating costs, including projected cash operating costs and AISC, and budgets on a consolidated and mine by mine basis; the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on B2Gold's operations, including any restrictions or suspensions with respect to our operations and the effect of any such restrictions or suspensions on our financial and operational results; the ability of the Company to successfully maintain our operations if they are temporarily suspended, and to restart or ramp-up these operations efficiently and economically, the impact of COVID-19 on the Company's workforce, suppliers and other essential resources and what effect those impacts, if they occur, would have on our business, our planned capital and exploration expenditures; future or estimated mine life, metal price assumptions, ore grades or sources, gold recovery rates, stripping ratios, throughput, ore processing; statements regarding anticipated exploration, drilling, development, construction, permitting and other activities or achievements of B2Gold and including, without limitation: B2Gold generating operating cashflows of more than $900 million in 2020; remaining well positioned for continued strong operational and financial performance for the remainder of 2020; projected gold production, cash operating costs and AISC on a consolidated and mine by mine basis in 2020, including total consolidated gold production of between 1,000,000 and 1,055,000 ounces in 2020 with cash operating costs of between $415 and $455 per ounce and AISC of between $780 and $820 per ounce; the anticipated cost, timing and results for the addition of a solar plant to the Fekola Mine, including the timing to complete following restart of construction; the development of the Wolfshag underground mine at Otjikoto, including the results of such development and the costs and timing thereof; the completion of the Gramalote Feasibility Study by the first quarter of 2021 and the results therein; the potential payment of future dividends, including the timing and amount of any such dividends, and the expectation that quarterly dividends will be maintained at the same level; the availability of the RCF for future draw downs and B2Gold's attributable share at El Limon and La Libertad. All statements in this news release that address events or developments that we expect to occur in the future are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are statements that are not historical facts and are generally, although not always, identified by words such as 'expect', 'plan', 'anticipate', 'project', 'target', 'potential', 'schedule', 'forecast', 'budget', 'estimate', 'intend' or 'believe' and similar expressions or their negative connotations, or that events or conditions 'will', 'would', 'may', 'could', 'should' or 'might' occur. All such forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management as of the date such statements are made.
Forward-looking statements necessarily involve assumptions, risks and uncertainties, certain of which are beyond B2Gold's control, including risks associated with or related to: the duration and extent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the effectiveness of preventative measures and contingency plans put in place by the Company to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, including, but not limited to, social distancing, a non-essential travel ban, business continuity plans, and efforts to mitigate supply chain disruptions; escalation of travel restrictions on people or products and reductions in the ability of the Company to transport and refine dore; the volatility of metal prices and B2Gold's common shares; changes in tax laws; the dangers inherent in exploration, development and mining activities; the uncertainty of reserve and resource estimates; not achieving production, cost or other estimates; actual production, development plans and costs differing materially from the estimates in B2Gold's feasibility and other studies; the ability to obtain and maintain any necessary permits, consents or authorizations required for mining activities; environmental regulations or hazards and compliance with complex regulations associated with mining activities; climate change and climate change regulations; the ability to replace mineral reserves and identify acquisition opportunities; the unknown liabilities of companies acquired by B2Gold; the ability to successfully integrate new acquisitions; fluctuations in exchange rates; the availability of financing; financing and debt activities, including potential restrictions imposed on B2Gold's operations as a result thereof and the ability to generate sufficient cash flows; operations in foreign and developing countries and the compliance with foreign laws, including those associated with operations in Mali, Namibia, the Philippines, Colombia and Burkina Faso and including risks related to changes in foreign laws and changing policies related to mining and local ownership requirements or resource nationalization generally, including in response to the COVID-19 outbreak; remote operations and the availability of adequate infrastructure; fluctuations in price and availability of energy and other inputs necessary for mining operations; shortages or cost increases in necessary equipment, supplies and labour; regulatory, political and country risks, including local instability or acts of terrorism and the effects thereof; the reliance upon contractors, third parties and joint venture partners; the lack of sole decision-making authority related to Filminera Resources Corporation, which owns the Masbate Project; challenges to title or surface rights; the dependence on key personnel and the ability to attract and retain skilled personnel; the risk of an uninsurable or uninsured loss; adverse climate and weather conditions; litigation risk; competition with other mining companies; community support for B2Gold's operations, including risks related to strikes and the halting of such operations from time to time; conflicts with small scale miners; failures of information systems or information security threats; the ability to maintain adequate internal controls over financial reporting as required by law, including Section 404 of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act; compliance with anti-corruption laws, and sanctions or other similar measures; social media and B2Gold's reputation; risks affecting Calibre having an impact on the value of the Company's investment in Calibre, and potential dilution of our equity interest in Calibre; as well as other factors identified and as described in more detail under the heading 'Risk Factors' in B2Gold's most recent Annual Information Form, B2Gold's current Form 40-F Annual Report and B2Gold's other filings with Canadian securities regulators and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (the 'SEC'), which may be viewed at www.sedar.com and www.sec.gov, respectively (the 'Websites'). The list is not exhaustive of the factors that may affect B2Gold's forward-looking statements.
B2Gold's forward-looking statements are based on the applicable assumptions and factors management considers reasonable as of the date hereof, based on the information available to management at such time. These assumptions and factors include, but are not limited to, assumptions and factors related to B2Gold's ability to carry on current and future operations, including: the duration and effects of COVID-19 on our operations and workforce; development and exploration activities; the timing, extent, duration and economic viability of such operations, including any mineral resources or reserves identified thereby; the accuracy and reliability of estimates, projections, forecasts, studies and assessments; B2Gold's ability to meet or achieve estimates, projections and forecasts; the availability and cost of inputs; the price and market for outputs, including gold; foreign exchange rates; taxation levels; the timely receipt of necessary approvals or permits; the ability to meet current and future obligations; the ability to obtain timely financing on reasonable terms when required; the current and future social, economic and political conditions and other assumptions and factors generally associated with the mining industry.
B2Gold's forward-looking statements are based on the opinions and estimates of management and reflect their current expectations regarding future events and operating performance and speak only as of the date hereof. B2Gold does not assume any obligation to update forward-looking statements if circumstances or management's beliefs, expectations or opinions should change other than as required by applicable law. There can be no assurance that forward-looking statements will prove to be accurate, and actual results, performance or achievements could differ materially from those expressed in, or implied by, these forward-looking statements. Accordingly, no assurance can be given that any events anticipated by the forward-looking statements will transpire or occur, or if any of them do, what benefits or liabilities B2Gold will derive therefrom. For the reasons set forth above, undue reliance should not be placed on forward-looking statements.
This news release includes certain terms or performance measures commonly used in the mining industry that are not defined under International Financial Reporting Standards ('IFRS'), including 'cash operating costs' and 'all-in sustaining costs' (or 'AISC'). Non-IFRS measures do not have any standardized meaning prescribed under IFRS, and therefore they may not be comparable to similar measures employed by other companies. The data presented is intended to provide additional information and should not be considered in isolation or as a substitute for measures of performance prepared in accordance with IFRS and should be read in conjunction with B2Gold's consolidated financial statements. Readers should refer to B2Gold's Management Discussion and Analysis, available on the Websites, under the heading 'Non-IFRS Measures' for a more detailed discussion of how B2Gold calculates certain of such measures and a reconciliation of certain measures to IFRS terms.
Cautionary Note to United States Investors
The disclosure in this news release was prepared in accordance with Canadian National Instrument 43-101 ('NI 43-101'), which differs significantly from the current requirements of the SEC set out in Industry Guide 7. Accordingly, such disclosure may not be comparable to similar information made public by companies that report in accordance with Industry Guide 7. In particular, this news release may refer to 'mineral resources,' 'indicated mineral resources' or 'inferred mineral resources'. While these categories of mineralization are recognized and required by Canadian securities laws, they are not recognized by Industry Guide 7 and have not historically been permitted to be disclosed in SEC filings by U.S. companies subject to Industry Guide 7. U.S. investors are cautioned not to assume that any part of a 'mineral resource,' 'indicated mineral resource' or 'inferred mineral resource' will ever be converted into a 'reserve.' In addition, this news release uses the terms 'reserves' and 'mineral reserves' which are reported by the Company under Canadian standards and may not qualify as reserves under Industry Guide 7. Under Industry Guide 7, mineralization may not be classified as a 'reserve' unless the mineralization can be economically and legally extracted or produced at the time the 'reserve' determination is made. Accordingly, information contained or referenced in this news release containing descriptions of the Company's mineral deposits may not be compatible to similar information made public by U.S. companies subject to the reporting and disclosure requirements of Industry Guide 7. 'Inferred mineral resources' have a great amount of uncertainty as to their existence and great uncertainty as to their economic and legal feasibility. It cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will ever be upgraded to a higher category. Disclosure of 'contained ounces' in a resource is permitted disclosure under Canadian reporting standards; however, Industry Guide 7 normally only permits issuers to report mineralization that does not constitute 'reserves' by Industry Guide 7 standards as in-place tonnage and grade without reference to unit measures. Further, while NI 43-101 permits companies to disclose economic projections contained in preliminary economic assessments and pre-feasibility studies, which are not based on 'reserves', U.S. companies subject to Industry Guide 7 have not generally been permitted to disclose economic projections for a mineral property in their SEC filings prior to the establishment of 'reserves.' Historical results or feasibility models presented herein are not guarantees or expectations of future performance.