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B2Gold Provides Construction Update for the Goose Project in Nunavut, Canada

Press Release

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, June 23, 2023 — B2Gold Corp. (TSX: BTO, NYSE AMERICAN: BTG, NSX: B2G) (“B2Gold” or the “Company”) is pleased to provide a construction update on the Goose Project, located in the 100% owned Back River Gold District in Nunavut, Canada. B2Gold acquired the Back River Gold District as part of the acquisition of Sabina Gold & Silver (“Sabina”) in April 2023.

Goose Project Construction Update Highlights

    • Goose Project remains on schedule for mill completion in Q1 2025: The 2023 winter ice road season was completed, with B2Gold receiving all critical materials necessary to maintain the schedule to complete construction of the mill in the first quarter of 2025. Currently, camp construction is underway, generators are being installed, and construction workshops are being erected.
    • Total initial capital expenditure estimate of C$800 million, in line with B2Gold expectations since the Sabina acquisition announcement, reflects scope changes to further optimize the Goose Project: B2Gold has updated the construction budget to de-risk the project and construct a reliable and low operating cost mine. In addition, the Company has made the decision to accelerate underground mining development to increase annual gold production over the first five years of the mine plan, including the mining of the Umwelt crown pillar (discussed below). The cost to accelerate underground mining is estimated at an additional C$90 million.
    • Accelerated underground mining development to increase average gold production in the first five years to over 300,000 ounces per year: Mining is underway in the Echo open pit, which will be mined out prior to process commissioning to provide tailings storage capacity. Underground mining has exceeded 1,500 meters of horizontal development and the initial ventilation raise will reach the surface shortly.
    • Underground mining is now scheduled to mine and backfill the full Umwelt crown pillar earlier in the mine life, which is expected to contribute over 150,000 ounces of gold production to the life of mine plan: Geotechnical and mine design and engineering is underway with the goal of mining and backfilling the crown pillar prior to completion of the Umwelt open pit using long-hole stoping methods to increase production rates and reduce operating costs. The crown pillar zone contains over 150,000 ounces of gold, which will be mined and processed earlier in the mine life than prior mine plans.
    • First winter ice road successfully brought all required materials to complete building envelopes in 2023: Concrete, steel, and consumables required for construction were successfully transported to the Goose Project site on the winter ice road and are staged at the construction site. Construction equipment including cranes, generators, welders, lifts, and tooling are in operation and being used for camp and workshop construction. Completion of the 2023 winter ice road successfully de-risked the development of future winter ice roads.
  • Site construction is ongoing, led by Kieran Loughran, who has successfully managed five construction projects for B2Gold and its predecessor company Bema Gold: Mr. Loughran and the B2Gold in-house construction team have successfully built the following projects on-time and on-budget over the past three decades: the Julietta and Kupol mines in Russia, the La Libertad mine in Nicaragua, the Otjikoto mine in Namibia, and the Fekola mine in Mali. The B2Gold in-house construction team is complemented by key personnel previously working on the project with Sabina.

Goose Project Initial Capital Build-Up

Category Approximate 

Amount

B2Gold Commentary
Initial Capital Expenditure (“Capex”) Estimate – 

March 2021 Feasibility Study

C$M $ 610
  • Initial capex estimate from March 2021 NI 43-101 Feasibility Study for the Goose Project
Inflationary Impacts through Sabina Acquisition Closing (April 2023) C$M $130
  • Total inflation of ~20%, in line with industry inflationary pressures from 2021 to 2023
Last Sabina Internal Capex Estimate – April 2023 C$M $ 740
B2Gold In-House Construction and Purchasing Teams C$M ($70)
  • Savings due to the use of B2Gold’s in-house construction and purchasing teams
B2Gold Design Changes and Consumables Pricing C$M $130
  • Additional equipment, steel, and tankage to ensure reliable and low cost operation
  • Inflation of fuel and consumables to market prices
Updated Initial Capex Estimate C$M $ 800
  • Updated initial capex to execute a de-risked Goose Project based on the March 2021 Feasibility Study
Accelerated Underground Mining C$M $90
  • Underground mining accelerated to increase gold production over first five years of the mine life
  • Accelerates mining of the Umwelt crown pillar, which contributes over 150,000 ounces of gold production to the life of mine plan
Total Project Cost Estimate C$M $ 890
  • Total project costs required to execute an improved Goose Project
Less: Project Costs Incurred Through April 2023 C$M ($340)
  • Project costs incurred by Sabina through April 2023
Remaining Project Costs to be Incurred by B2Gold C$M $550
  • Project costs to be incurred by B2Gold through Q1 2025

In addition, B2Gold will undertake a build up of working capital over the next 24 months in order to materially de-risk the execution of the production ramp-up phase. Areas of focus for working capital include:

  • Accelerated purchase and additional storage of diesel fuel to manage the requirements of operations in 2025;
  • Critical inventory of consumables and spares for mining and processing to avoid the requirement for air transport; and
  • Development of open pit and underground ore stockpiles to provide a consistent and uninterrupted feed to the process plant.

B2Gold Goose Project Capital Changes

Utilization of B2Gold In-House Construction and Purchasing Team

Since closing of the acquisition of Sabina in April 2023, B2Gold has worked to integrate its in-house construction team with the Sabina team, as well as rescope the external contractors working on the Goose Project. Through these integration efforts and based on prior experience at B2Gold’s current operations, the Company estimates that moving to an owner-operated construction model versus a fixed priced EPC contract for the construction of the process plant will save money and result in a mill with higher availability and lower sustaining capital requirements. Using an owner-operated team also allows for flexibility in construction and the ability to refocus construction activities as needed.

In addition, the B2Gold in-house purchasing team has identified significant savings by purchasing certain mobile equipment versus the ‘lease to own’ purchase model utilized by Sabina, and through lower negotiated pricing for certain reagents and consumables required for project construction and commissioning.

B2Gold Design Changes and Consumables Pricing

Through the due diligence period of the acquisition of Sabina and now managing the Goose Project, the B2Gold team has identified various items that will be added to the original Sabina scope in order to further de-risk the construction phase and maximize the long-term value of the asset. These items include, among others:

  • Emulsion explosives plant and mining support fleet;
  • Additional power generation capacity and expanded site power distribution;
  • Additional shipping redundancy costs to further de-risk the timing of mill completion in Q1 2025;
  • Secondary steel including platforms, grating, and handrails to meet project and safety requirements;
  • Information Technology and Enterprise Resource Planning improvements;
  • Improved on-site assay lab; and
  • Additional fuel tanks at the Marine Laydown Area and at the Goose Project to provide extended on-site operating reserves (and to support potential project expansions).

In addition, the Company has used current market pricing for costing of various consumables utilized during the construction phase, mainly related to fuel and diesel.

Goose Project Update Life of Mine Plan

The B2Gold technical team continues to analyze ways to optimize the Goose Project life of mine plan. Areas of optimization currently being studied include:

  • Mining of the Umwelt crown pillar
    • The crown pillar between the Umwelt open pit and underground mining areas contains over 150,000 ounces of gold and was only partially included in prior production schedules.
    • Geotechnical and mine design and engineering is underway with the goal of mining and backfilling the crown pillar prior to completion of the Umwelt open pit.
  • Underground mining method
    • Development mining is effective in complex high grade deposits, but with relatively high mining costs.
    • The B2Gold engineering team has determined that most of the Umwelt underground mine can be mined effectively with long-hole stoping, which is expected to reduce costs and increase ore production rates.
  • Renewable power generation
    • The Sabina team identified the potential for wind power generation during prior ownership, and studies are in progress to identify the best solution and to quantify the potential operational and cost impact to the Goose Project.

B2Gold anticipates the completion of an updated Goose Project life of mine plan in the second half of 2023.

About B2Gold

B2Gold is a low-cost international senior gold producer headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2007, today, B2Gold has operating gold mines in Mali, Namibia and the Philippines and numerous exploration and development projects in various countries including Canada, Mali, Colombia, Finland and Uzbekistan. B2Gold forecasts total consolidated gold production of between 1,000,000 and 1,080,000 ounces in 2023.

Qualified Persons

Bill Lytle, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, a qualified person under NI 43-101, has approved the scientific and technical information related to operations matters contained in this news release.

ON BEHALF OF B2GOLD CORP.

“Clive T. Johnson”

IBF4

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