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B2Gold ups indicated resource at Fekola gold mine by 15.4% to 6.1 million ounces

B2Gold Corp.'s indicated mineral resource at its Fekola mine in Mali jumped to 6.1 million ounces of gold, a 15.4% increase compared to the Dec. 31, 2018, estimate.

The indicated resource, as at Dec. 31, 2019, is hosted in 110.6 million tonnes at 1.70 g/t gold, within a US$1,500 per ounce gold pit shell above a of 0.5 g/t gold cut-off grade.

The company said Jan. 16 that it conducted over 25,000 meters of reverse circulation and diamond drilling at Fekola in 2019 in a bid to convert existing inferred resources to the indicated category.

The inferred mineral resource at the Fekola deposit and the Anaconda area stands at 28.6 million tonnes at 1.14 g/t gold containing 1.0 million ounces. Anaconda is a saprolite resource located 20 kilometers north of Fekola.

The Fekola deposit is open down plunge to the north, and B2Gold plans to continue exploration in 2020 to test for extensions to the deposit to the north and south, both at depth and near surface, and test for additional mineralized zones to the east and west of the deposit.

The company's total 2020 exploration budget for Fekola and Anaconda is about C$18 million.

B2Gold in March 2019 decided to expand the Fekola mine, which it said will increase processing throughput to 7.5 million tonnes per annum from 6 Mtpa.

B2Gold owns an 80% interest in Fekola, while the government of Mali owns the remaining 20%.