After taking over the Fekola mine’s permits in 2015, the Canadian company B2Gold announced that it will invest an additional $50 million in the expansion of this production unit, located in southwest Mali
The Fekola open-pit deposit, which came on stream at the end of 2017, broke records in 2018 with 439,068 ounces (12.45 t) extracted, one fifth of Mali’s gold production (60.8 t). The announcement follows the release on May 10 of the results of a preliminary assessment of the expansion project calling for an expansion of the mine park and plant modernization. There was therefore an almost perfect concurrence between the report’s recommendations and the decision to invest. With this new financial commitment, the group states in its press release, published on May 13, that it plans to produce « approximately 5,000,000,000 ounces of gold over 12 years of mining and processing at the new mine, including 2019 ».
In detail, the mine – 80% owned by B2Gold and 20% by the Malian government – is expected to increase its average annual gold production to over 550,000 ounces between 2020 and 2024, and to over 400,000 ounces over the next seven years. The project could also increase the processing rate of the operation to 7.5 million tonnes per year, from the current 6 million tonnes.
The project is expected to be implemented until the third quarter of 2020. As for the investment, the Canadian firm has announced that it will be financed from the cash flow of the mine, B2Gold’s real « golden egg hen », the Fekola deposit being the group’s most productive and least expensive unit. Founded in 2007 in Vancouver, Canada, B2Gold currently operates five gold mines and has numerous exploration and development projects around the world, including Nicaragua, the Philippines, Namibia, Mali, Burkina Faso and Colombia.