B2Gold Corp. on Feb. 23 reported an initial open pit resource estimate for the recently discovered Central zone of its El Limon gold mine in Nicaragua.
Using a cutoff grade of 1.2 g/t of gold, the zone hosts 5.1 million tonnes grading 4.92 g/t of gold for 812,000 ounces contained. Resources are accessible via open pit mining, assuming a US$1,400/oz gold price, an average recovery of 83.8% and recent cash operating costs at the El Limon mine.
B2Gold said the zone could help lower El Limon's cash operating costs and all-in sustaining costs per ounce, increase the life of the mine and eventually lead to an expansion.
The vein structure at the Central zone, which is 150 meters from the mill facility, has been drill tested along a 2.2-kilometer strike length and remains open at depth and along strike.
The in-house resource update is based on 248 drillholes totaling 35,871 meters, which includes 28,078 meters of diamond drilling.
The company, which also aims to reprocess old tailings at the site, plans to spend US$7 million on the property in 2018, with 24,900 meters of drilling planned across 132 holes.
By mid-2018, B2Gold expects to wrap-up a study to assess the potential to expand the throughput rate at El Limon to increase gold output and lower cash costs.
The company also recently posted initial resources for the Toega deposit at its Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso.