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SOUTHERN AFRICA Otjikoto the object of B2Gold’s affection Namibia is showing the world it is a lucrative destination to build, own and operate a mine, especially if B2Gold Corp and its Otjikoto gold project are anything to judge by, writes Laura Cornish. IN SHORT Namibia will shortly be home to a new producing gold mine, Otjikoto, and it’s lucrative, considering plans are already underway to expand it. N amibia may be recognised primarily for its uranium-rich deposits, but this is not all it has to offer. In January last year, TSX/NYSE-NYT/NSX-listed gold major B2Gold announced it was moving its Otjikoto gold project (which it acquired with a resource) into construction following positive conclusive feasibility results. The company has brought gold interest to the country and is showcasing the commodity favourably. “The key to long-term operational success, regardless of location, is transparency and promise delivery. This is especially true in Africa where the mining industry is finding itself and developing. It will ensure government is on your side,” says B2Gold’s CEO, Clive Johnson. With mining projects in Nicaragua, Philippines, Columbia and most recently Burkina Faso, Johnson speaks from experience. Otjikoto – current status The US$300 million Otjikoto project, situated 300 km north of Namibia’s capital city Windhoek between the towns of Otjiwarongo and Otavi, is scheduled to commence production in the last quarter of 2014, and is designed to produce about 141 000 ozpa of gold for (for the five years) of its 12 year life. This is based Excavation in the Otjikoto pit area ‘Typical’ mining/construction start- up challenges aside, Otjikoto’s advancement has been plain sailing ever since. Not only has it remained on budget and schedule since construction started (almost a year and a half down the line), but it is already gearing up for expansion – before production has even started. Even more exciting is its most recent discovery – a new and substantially higher grade deposit situated adjacent to the main pit area. Four leach tanks have already been erected in the mill area 36 MINING REVIEW AFRICA ISSUE 4 2014