TSX-listed B2Gold Corporation on Wednesday reported strong operational and financial results for the second quarter and first half of 2018.
The company achieved record gold production of 240 093 oz for the second quarter, a 98% year-on-year increase, and 7% above budget, owing to consistently strong performances at the Fekola mine, in Mali; the Masbate mine, in the Philippines; and the Otjikoto mine, in Namibia.
B2Gold’s consolidated gold revenue increased by 73% year-on-year to $285-million for the second quarter, while its consolidated cash operating costs of $474/oz, stayed below budget by $86/oz and was 25% lower year-on-year.
B2Gold reported consolidated all-in sustaining costs (AISC) of $721/oz, which was 17% below budget and 26% lower than that reported in the second quarter of 2017.
Cash flows from operating activities amounted to $86-million, or $0.09 a share, representing a 79% year-on-year increase.
B2Gold achieved net income of $21-million, or $0.02 a share, and adjusted net income of $46-million, or $0.05 a share.
The Fekola mine continued to operate above plan, producing 112 644 oz, 11% above budget, at cash operating costs of $318/oz and AISC of $445/oz. Based on Fekola's strong year-to-date performance, Fekola's production guidance for the full-year was revised higher by 20 000 oz to between 420 000 oz and 430 000 oz.
The 2018 Mali exploration budget has been increased from $15-million to $19-million, based on good drill results to date, to accelerate the current Fekola North Extension zone drill programme.
B2Gold’s record-breaking second-quarter performance contributed to a record first-half gold production of 479 777 oz – 89% higher than that produced in the first half of 2017.
B2Gold achieved record gold revenue of $629-million on sales of 480 575 oz at an average price of $1 309/oz for the six months under review.
Its operating costs of $477/oz were 14% below budget and 20% lower than the first half of 2017. The AISC of $735/oz was 17% below budget and 21% lower than in the first half of 2017.
B2Gold attributed its favourable budget variance to the higher-than-budgeted production at the Fekola and Masbate mines, combined with lower-than-budgeted production costs at these mines.
Additionally, the consolidated AISC was below budget owing to lower-than-budgeted corporate general and administrative costs and sustaining capital expenditure.
Cash flows from operating activities amounted to $233-million, or $0.24 a share, compared with $88-million, or $0.09 a share, in the first half of 2017.
B2Gold achieved a net income of $79-million, or $0.08 a share, and adjusted net income of $104-million for the six months under review.
The company has revised its gold production guidance for this year higher by 40 000 oz to between 920 000 oz and 960 000 oz at cash operating costs of between $505/oz and $550/oz and an AISC of between $780/oz and $830/oz.
With the Fekola mine in production, the resulting increase in production levels, combined with low costs, are projected to dramatically increase B2Gold's production, revenues, cash from operations and cash flow for many years, based on current assumptions.