El Limon Mine is located in northwestern Nicaragua, approximately 100 km northwest of the country’s capital, Managua. Click here for mine/project location map.
On July 2, 2019, Calibre announced that it had entered into a transaction with B2Gold Corp. (B2Gold) whereby it would acquire the producing El Limόn and La Libertad gold mines as well as the Pavon gold project and other mineral concessions in Nicaragua held by B2Gold for an aggregate consideration of $100 million, to be paid with a combination of cash, common shares and a convertible debenture. Following completion of the transaction, B2Gold will own an approximate 31% direct equity interest in Calibre.
The El Limόn mining exploitation permit covers an area of 12,000 ha and was granted by Ministerial Decree for a 25-year term in 2002. The Project also comprises the Bonete-Limόn, Guanacastal III, San Antonio, and Guanacastal II exploration permits, which are contiguous with the exploitation permit and cover a total area of 8,147 ha, and Villanueva 2 exploration permit, which is located 12 km north of the exploitation permit and covers an area of 1,200 ha. The Project is located approximately 100 km northwest of the capital of Managua and is accessible by road.
Mining operations use conventional open pit mining methods at the Limón Central open pit and a combination of top-down and bottom-up sequenced longitudinal open stoping (LOS) at the Santa Pancha underground mines. The El Limón processing plant consists of agitated cyanide leaching and carbon adsorption, followed by carbon elution, electrowinning, and doré production. The annual throughput is approximately 500,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) and the historical recovery is 94% to 95%.
Click here for B2Gold and Calibre Mining Join Forces in Nicaragua news release, dated July 2, 2019
Full-Year (“FY”) 2018 Performance Snapshot:
- Gold production(2) was 49,629 oz
- Cash operating costs(3) were $926 /oz
- All-in sustaining costs (“AISC”)(3) were $1,466 /oz
First Quarter (“Q1”) 2019 Performance Snapshot:
- Gold production(2) was 12,231 oz
- Cash operating costs were $991/oz
- AISC were $1,524 /oz
B2Gold 2019 Guidance:
- Gold production(2) is expected to be between 55 Koz - 60 Koz
- Cash operating costs are expected to be between $720 - $760 /oz
- AISC are expected to be between $1,005 - $1,045 /oz
Click here for B2Gold’s Q1 2019 Earnings news release, dated May 7, 2019
Click here for B2Gold’s Q4 & FY 2018 Earnings news release, dated March 12, 2019
Click Here for B2Gold’s MD&A production and costs, dated June 30, 2019
Click here for B2Gold’s Q1 2019 Earnings news release, dated April 17, 2019
Click here for B2Gold’s Q2 2019 Earnings news release, dated August 6, 2019
Click here for B2Gold’s Q2 2019 Management Discussion & Analysis June 30, 2019
Click here for B2Gold’s Q2 2019 Financial Statements June 30, 2019
Health, Safety & Environment:
- El Limon Mine reduced its lost-time injury frequency rate by over 45% from 2.31 in 2017 to 1.22 in 2018
Mine/Project Location Map:
Mine Overview (as at March 31, 2019):
|FY 2018 PRODUCTION, CASH COSTS, REVENUE & SALES9:|
|FY 2018 gold production||49,629 oz|
|FY 2018 cash operating costs||$926 /oz|
|FY 2018 AISC||$1,466 /oz|
|FY 2018 gold revenue||$68,486|
|FY 2018 gold sales||53,695 oz|
|FY 2018 average realized gold price||$1,275 /oz|
|Q1 2019 PRODUCTION, CASH COSTS, REVENUE & SALES8:|
|Q1 2019 gold production||12,231 oz|
|Q1 2019 cash operating costs||$991 /oz|
|Q1 2019 AISC||$1,524 /oz|
|Q1 2019 gold revenue||$14,973|
|Q1 2019 gold sales||11,404 oz|
|Q1 2019 average realized gold price||$1,313 /oz|
|FY 2018 PROCESSING9:|
|FY 2018 tonnes of ore milled||0.45 M|
|FY 2018 grade||3.64 g/t|
|FY 2018 recovery||94.9%|
|Q1 2019 Processing:|
|Q1 2019 tonnes of ore milled||0.12 M|
|Q1 2019 grade||3.34 g/t|
|Q1 2019 recovery||93.7%|
|B2Gold 2019 GUIDANCE8:|
|2019 E gold production||55 Koz - 60 Koz|
|2019 E cash operating costs||$720 - $760 /oz|
|2019 E AISC||$1,005 - $1,045 /oz|
|2019 E tonnes of ore milled (budget)||0.5 M|
|2019 E grade (budget)||4.04 g/t (average)|
|2019 E recovery (budget)||90.9%|
|2019 exploration budget||$3 M|
|Mine type||Open pit/underground|
|Processing plant||Cyanide leach/Carbon-in-pulp process|
|Power||Purchased from the grid with diesel powered back-up|
|Total number of employees: Nicaragua(5)||1,093|
|Local employee workforce: Nicaragua(5)||98.3%|
|Mineral Reserve & Resource Estimates (Contained Gold) – 100% Project Basis:|
|Probable Mineral Reserves(6)||0.3 Moz|
|Indicated Mineral Resources(6)||0.8 Moz|
|Inferred Mineral Resources(6)||0.8 Moz|
The Mineral Resources, effective June 30, 2019 for El Limón are summarized in Table 1. Canadian Institute of Mining, Metallurgy and Petroleum (CIM) Definition Standards for Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves (CIM (2014) definitions) were used for Mineral Resource classification.
- CIM (2014) definitions were followed for Mineral Resources.
- Mineral Resources are based on 100% ownership.
- Mineral Resources are estimated at cut-off grades of 1.25 g/t Au for the Limón open pit, 1.20 g/t Au for the Tailings, and 2.25 g/t Au for underground in Santa Pancha 1, Santa Pancha 2, and Veta Nueva.
- Mineral Resources presented are inclusive of Mineral Reserves.
- Mineral Resources are not Mineral Reserves and do not have demonstrated economic viability.
- Mineral Resources are estimated using a long-term gold price of US$1,500 per ounce.
- Bulk density is from 1.86 t/m3 to 2.85 t/m3 for the Limón open pit material, 2.50 t/m3 for the Santa Pancha 1, and Veta Nueva underground material, from 2.45 t/m3 to 2.50 t/m3 for the Santa Pancha 2, and from 1.29 t/m3 to 1.33 t/m3 for tailings material.
- Numbers may not add due to rounding.
El Limon District Scale Exploration Opportunity
The property lies within the boundary of the municipalities of Larreynaga and Telica of the Department of Leόn and the municipalities of Chinandega and Villa Nueva of the Department of Chinandega, approximately 100 km northwest of the capital city of Managua. The El Limόn exploitation permit is centred at approximately 1,409,000mN and 525,500mE (UTM NAD 27, Zone 16). A map showing the Project location is presented in Figure 4-1.
The Project consists of five contiguous blocks covering an aggregate area of 20,147 ha and the Villanueva 2 exploration permit covering an area of 1,200 ha located approximately 12 km to the north. The 12,000 ha El Limόn exploitation permit is adjacent to the 5,000 ha Bonete-Limόn exploration permit. Additional contiguous exploration permits include Guanacastal III, San Antonio, and Guanacastal II, which are contiguous with Bonete-Limόn block, combine for a total area of 3,147 ha.
Gold mineralization in the Limón district is structurally controlled and forms veins that occupy pre-existing fault structures and extensional openings formed during mineralization. The veins are quartz dominant with lesser and variable quantities of calcite, and minor adularia. Pyrite is the predominant sulphide, but with a content of less than one percent. Trace amounts of chalcopyrite, sphalerite, arsenopyrite, altaite, gold tellurides, and native gold are also reported to occur. Gold is present in both the banded quartz and silicified breccias that form the veins. Gold is very fine-grained within the quartz vein, and is relatively uniformly distributed throughout the higher-grade parts of the veins; only once has visible gold been reported on the El Limón Mine concession.
The productive vein systems are approximately one to two kilometres long, with vein widths from less than one metre up to 25 m. Individual mineralized shoots within the veins range from 60 m to 450 m long horizontally, and from 40 m to 290 m vertically. Strike orientations vary from north-northwest through northeast to east-west, and dips are from 40° to nearly vertical. All economic gold mineralization discovered and mined to date lies within 400 m of surface. The productive and prospective elevations within the vein systems vary across the district. Post-mineral faults locally disrupt and offset the vein.
The gold-bearing veins and attendant alteration are hosted within volcanic flows, volcaniclastic strata, and possibly hypabyssal intrusions of the lowest volcanic unit. The other three gently dipping volcanic units are variously altered by the same hydrothermal fluids that deposited the gold veins, locally quartz stringers with low gold values are found in the massive porphyritic andesite flows that immediately underlie the unconformity contact with the youngest flat-lying unit. The youngest volcanic unit appears to post-date gold mineralization because no veins or vein-related alteration has, as yet, been identified within this unit.
Exploration at the Mine, for the most part, comprises drilling. Other exploration methods include prospecting, geological mapping, geophysical and geochemical surveys, and trenching. All exploration to date was performed by previous owners as discussed in Section 6 of the June 30, 2019 Technical report (click here), History.
There is potential to outline additional resources in the following areas:
Extension to currently producing areas:
- Limón Central
- Santa Pancha
- Veta Nueva
Existing resource areas not currently producing:
- Limón Norte
- Pozo Bono
- Historically Placed Tailings
- San Antonio
Excellent exploration potential remains open along strike and down plunge at the El Limon Central high-grade open pit structure. Currently tested over a 2.5km strike length and open to the North west. There remains significant potential down plunge of Limon Norte, Tigra/Chapparal and Cocoa Hill. See Long section image and overview map below.
Exploration Target Highlights
Exploration completed to date on the El Limón property has identified a series of targets at various stages of advancement with positive results, which warrant further work.
Panteon is located 100 m west of the producing Santa Pancha vein. Drilling on this structure in 2019 returned positive results including hole LIM‐19‐4401, for which assays are pending, intersected a mineralized zone 5.44 m wide (true width), including wall rock breccias, hydrothermal breccia, and quartz vein. The quartz vein consists of colloform and crustiform banded quartz with minor vuggy quartz and includes traces of sulphosalts and adularia. LIM‐19‐4400 intersected three closely spaced structures returning 2.83 g/t Au over 6.35 m (main structure), 8.66 g/t Au over 3.4 m (footwall), and 10.62 g/t Au over 5.44 m (hanging wall) including 18.33 g/t Au over 2.20 m.
The Atravesada target is located north and along strike from the Veta Nueva deposit. The most recent drilling at Atravesada was successful with drill intercepts including 51.65 g/t Au over 1.19 m, 5.71 g/t Au over 1.24 m, 4.12 g/t Au over 5.05 m, 5.50 g/t Au over 5.14 m, 18.42 g/t Au over 4.07 m, 31.48 g/t Au over 2.68 m, and 5.85 g/t Au over 5.55 m. Additional potential exists along strike and down dip.
The Ramadas target is located in the central portion of the El Limón property. First pass drilling is planned in the second half of 2019 at the Ramadas Target, which consists of multiple sub-parallel veins with gold anomalies.
The Lourdes Target is located to the west of the main El Limón structure. The main Lourdes structure extends for 2.2 km and the adjacent San Nicolás structure, for 1.9 km. Extensive exploration has been completed including 78 trenches totalling 2,749 m. Results from the trench sampling include; 1.21 g/t Au over 1.0 m, 1.00 g/t Au over 5.11 m, 1.81 g/t Au over 1.0 m, 1.20 g/t Au over 2.45 m, 1.00 g/t Au over 3.53 m, 1.16 g/t Au over 0.45 m, 0.53 g/t Au over 1.61 m, and 0.29 g/t Au over 7.41 m. Within the trenches, the structure averages 1.0 m to 2.0 m, with wider stockwork zones up to 5.0 m made of druzy and massive quartz. Drilling is ongoing.
Santa Pancha Sur
The Santa Pancha Sur Target is located 200 m to 400 m south of the operating Santa Pancha 1 (SP1) mine. The target consists of a strong magnetic anomaly associated with gold anomalous soil and rock samples. A first pass drilling program has been planned.
Guanacastal is a newly acquired area on the eastern limit of the Project where first pass mapping, soil sampling, and prospecting are underway.
Calibre is reviewing plans and budgets to begin exploration and drilling activities during Q4, 2019. The company will update all stakeholders with additional news releases as they become available.
For the latest details and news release pertaining to El Limon Mine:
- Click here for ‘B2Gold and Calibre Mining Join Forces in Nicaragua - Calibre Mining to Acquire El Limon and La Libertad Gold Mines - B2Gold to Become Calibre’s Largest Shareholder’ news release, dated July 2, 2019
- Click here for ‘B2Gold Reports Strong First Quarter 2019 Results; Quarterly Gold Production of 231,000 oz, 6% Above Budget; AISC of $848/oz sold, significantly below budget by $133/oz’ news release, dated May 7, 2019
- Click here for ‘B2Gold Reports Positive 2018 Fourth Quarter/Annual Results; Record Annual Gold Production of 953,504 Oz, Revenue of $1.2 B & Operating Cash Flows of $451 M ($0.46/share); Cash Operating Costs of $495/oz & AISC of $758/oz’ news release, dated March 12, 2019
For a more detailed overview of El Limon Mine, please refer to the following most recent company documents:
- Click here for Q1 2019 Management’s Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”)(6)
- Click here for Q1 2019 Financial Statements(6)
- Click here for Annual Information Form (“AIF”) 2019, dated March 20, 2019(6)
- The disclosure contains forward-looking statements. Refer to the Legal section of the website (click here) for caution regarding forward-looking statements and the basis for presentation of Mineral Reserves, Mineral Resources and other technical disclosures.
- B2Gold’s FY 2018 and Q1 2019 gold production results and 2019 annual gold production guidance are presented on a 100% basis.
- Refer to “Non-IFRS measures” in the Company’s most recently filed MD&A, (NEEDE Non-IFRS measures section)
- In May 2018, B2Gold purchased the remaining 5% interest in El Limon Mine for $2.5 million, thereby increasing its ownership interest in El Limon to 100% from 95%. (Prior to this date, the Company held an indirect 95% interest in Triton Minera S.A. (“Triton”), the mine operator. The remaining 5% of Triton was held by Inversiones Mineras S.A.) For further details, refer to the Company’s AIF, dated March 20, 2019 (click here) and/or click here for ‘B2Gold Reports Positive Second Quarter & First-Half 2018 Results; Strong Growth in Gold Production/Revenues and Operating Cash Flows; Significant Beat Against Budget for Cash Operating Costs and AISC’ news release, dated August 7, 2018.
- Refer to respective footnotes in Summary of Mineral Reserve and Mineral Resource Estimates - click here for information regarding the categories, grade and tonnage of these Mineral Reserves and Mineral Resources, and other related information.
- Also available on SEDAR at www.sedar.com under B2Gold Corporation..
- B2Gold Corp., Annual Information Form (“AIF”) 2019, dated March 20, 2019 (Click here)
- Q1 2019 Management’s Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) Click here
- Q4, 2018 Management’s Discussion & Analysis (“MD&A”) click here
Mineral Resource & Mineral Reserve Estimates:
Click here for Summary of Mineral Resource and Mineral Reserve Estimates