The Goose project in Nunavut is on track to pour its first gold in the first quarter of 2025. The mine is 100%-owned by Vancouver-based B2Gold (TSX: BTO.
It is located in the Back River gold district and was acquired as part of the Sabina Gold and Silver acquisition earlier this year.
All long lead items for the 2024 construction season have been received at the company’s freight consolidation point, prepped for ship transport, and the sealift is underway.
Construction capital expenditures remain in budget, with the June 2023 estimate of C$800 million, plus an additional C$90 million for accelerating the underground development. About C$530 million have been spent on the project thus far. The sealift also includes 24 million litres of diesel fuel. The company is also evaluating the potential for wind power generation at Goose.
The fast-tracked underground mining plan will increase average gold production in the first five years of operation to over 300,000 oz. per year, the company said, adding that underground development is taking place at the Umwelt deposit, and open pit mining at the Echo deposit is progressing. The Echo pit will be mined out and the ore stockpiled prior to the commissioning of the mill in order to provide tailings storage capacity.
Phase one of the accommodation complex opened last month which consisting of 310 beds. There are another 160 beds at the existing exploration camp. Together they will accommodate construction, mining, and exploration activities.
Other surface infrastructure is underway, notably the earthworks necessary to extend the airstrip to 1,525 metres. Winter ice road preparations are also well underway. B2Gold teams plan to begin building the ice road in the middle and work simultaneously to each end, a plan that will allow the work to be completed earlier than in prior seasons. Structural steel is also going up for the mill building and truck shop.
B2Gold has also completed 11,000 metres of drilling in 44 holes this year. Drilling focused on testing the Umwelt and Llama deposits down-plunge for resource expansion. Various regional targets have also been drilled.