Following B2Gold Corp.'s (BTG:NYSE; BTO:TSX; B2G:NSX) Q1/18 production beat, Eight Capital increased its target price on the Buy-rated company to CA$5.40 from CA$4.75 per share, as reported in an April 11, 2018 research note. B2G is currently trading at around CA$3.60 per share. Quarterly production of 240,000 ounces (240 Koz) gold exceeded Eight Capital's estimate by 4% and "tracked above the high end of full year guidance," wrote analyst Craig Stanley. About 260 Koz of gold were sold during Q1/18, taking quarterly revenue to a record $344.3 million ($344.3M).
The standout in Q1/18 was B2Gold's flagship Fekola mine in Mali, where 144 Koz were produced. This also surpassed expectations, by 13%, and was "well above" the high end of 2018 guidance, Stanley noted. Also, Fekola contributed 27 Koz to the total gold sold during the quarter.
The analyst speculated that the Fekola project likely could be expanded and indicated that B2Gold may address that very prospect at its Fekola site visit on May 23 to 24, 2018.
In support of a potential expansion, Stanley said that B2Gold plans almost 100 kilometers (100 km) of drilling in Mali this year, at a budget of about $15.1M. Drilling at the Fekola deposit would likely result in 1.29 million ounces of gold, ones not included in the mine plan, being upgraded from the Indicated category.
Also, Stanley explained, were drill results from the Fekola North Extension to show "sufficient economic mineralization, a potential low capex expansion of the plant from 5.5 million tons per annum to 7 could be justified." Whereas drilling of up to 900 meters of the resource pit boundary continues there, it already hit mineralized structures up to 1.8 km north of the main Fekola zone.
Stanley further pointed out that with the discovery of three mineralized bedrock zones beneath Anaconda, which is 20 km away from Fekola, the possibility exists for Fekola-style mineralization, which "could potentially be processed at Fekola." Already an initial resource estimate for that area has been released: an Inferred 21.59 million tons gold at grading 1.11 grams per ton for 767 Koz, cutoff grade 0.35 grams per ton. Drilling in Anaconda continues.
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Disclosures from Eight Capital, B2Gold, Target Revision, Apr. 11, 2018
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