Vancouver-based B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO) is stepping into Canadian mining market with its first project in the country, investing nearly C$2 billion in a mine in southwestern Nunavut.
Prior to this, B2Gold’s mining operations were entirely international, with active sites in Mali, Namibia, and the Philippines. This year, however, marked a strategic shift for the company. In April, B2Gold acquired Sabina Gold and Silver Corp. along with its Back River Gold District in Nunavut for a reported C$1.2 billion.
The Back River Gold District spans an 80-kilometre belt featuring six gold properties. Among these, the Goose property is currently under development. B2Gold has announced plans for the Goose deposit, aiming to manage it as a combined open pit and underground operation. The property is recognized as one of the highest-grade undeveloped gold properties globally, as per a B2Gold investor presentation.
The company’s latest construction update revealed a budget of C$890 million for the new mine. Over the winter, B2Gold transported the necessary construction equipment to the site via an ice road. The company is also building a mill, expected to be operational by the first quarter of 2025.
B2Gold had initially projected a capital expenditure of C$800 million for the project, but recently decided to invest an additional C$90 million. This increased funding aims to hasten underground mining operations to boost the mine’s annual gold production during its first five years. The company anticipates an average annual production of around 300,000 ounces per year.
As of 2020, B2Gold operates three mines: the Fekola mine in Mali, the Masbate mine in the Philippines, and the Otjikoto mine in Namibia. The Fekola mine is the company’s largest, producing over 400,000 ounces of gold each year. The Masbate mine, an open-pit mine, produces upwards of 200,000 ounces of gold annually, while the Otjikoto mine, a combined open pit and underground mine, produces between 150,000 and 200,000 ounces of gold annually.