B2Gold (BTO.TO, NYSE:BTG) has announced it produced just over 115,000 ounces of gold in the first quarter of this year and this production jump is mainly caused by an excellent pre-production performance at the company’s newest Otjikoto mine in Namibia where almost 20,000 ounces of gold were produced.

That specific mine reached the commercial production stage one month before schedule, and B2Gold is already expanding the throughput of the processing plant from 2.5 million tonnes per year to 3 million tonnes. This should lead to an increased gold production rate from the last quarter of this calendar year on.

B2Gold reiterated its guidance and is still planning to produce 500,000-540,000 ounces of gold at a cash cost of $630-660/oz. This is respectively a 35% increase and 5% reduction compared to 2014. B2Gold is on track to produce in excess of 750,000 ounces of gold by 2018 as the construction of the Fekola project in Mali has already started as well.

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Disclosure: The author holds no position in B2Gold. Please see our disclaimer for current positions.

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