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EDITOR’S CHOICE PROJECTS GROUP COVER STORY | ELB | NAMIBIA OTJIKOTO Kieran Loughran (plant construction manager on the Otjikoto project) celebrates the first gold pour with part of his team Namibia’s new On 12 December Namibia officially became the home of the country’s second producing gold mine – Otjikoto. The operation is a significant achievement for owners B2Gold, and represents the company’s first successful step into Africa. It also substantially increases the company’s annual gold ounce volumes from about 380 000 ozpa to over 500 000 ozpa (at nameplate capacity) WRITES LAURA CORNISH. First gold bar First gold poured at Otjikoto IN SHORT Not only did B2Gold deliver first gold slightly ahead of schedule from Otjikoto but will soon celebrate its status as the largest gold producing operation in the country as well. 30 MINING REVIEW AFRICA | JANUARY 2015 B 2Gold’s journeyrinto Africa and pathway to production has been swift. It has taken the company a little over three years to acquire the Greenfields Otjikoto property through its merger with Auryx Gold in October 2011, build the mine and process plant and pour its first gold. Otjikoto is situated about 300 km north of Windhoek between Otjiwarongo and Otavi and is owned 90% by B2Gold and 10% by EVI Mining, a Namibian empower- ment group. “After receiving our mining licence in December 2012, the board fast-tracked our US$337 million budget to build. .