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B2 Gold Otjikoto mine will continue with its processing operations beyond the 2026 closure of the mine.

After the closure, it will process all its stockpiles until they are exhausted by approximately 2031.

Ten years after its commissioning in 2013, the mine has come to the end of its economic lifespan.

Disclosing the phased closure of the mine, the mining executives told the media that they will now go into underground prospecting in addition to mining its dumps, which they expect to exhaust by 2031.

Board Chairperson of B2 Gold Namibia, Dr. Leake Hangala, says, "It is an open pit mine. It is now going underground—modern underground. Nowadays, in terms of mining underground, you need very sophisticated equipment. They are even starting to use artificial intelligence there, but we are extremely proud.

Dr. Leake would not let much out of his hat, only saying that there might be more opportunities for the mine as they continue prospecting.

With mines having bad reputations for damaging the environment, B2 Gold Namibia General Manager Eric Barnard pointed out that a viable plan is in place to ensure the rehabilitation of the area.

"We have progressively rehabilitated the area; for example, as the waste term got full, we started resloping.
pavements and put top soil on them and started to seed them. And when we go into the rainy season, the stems are green. We have a nursery across the mine that we propagate our own seedlings from, and we use that to re-vegetate the embankments."

The processing plant, which will continue beyond the closure of the open-pit mine, will retain around 500 workers from the current 900-strong workforce to mine the stockpiles.

B2 Gold Namibia Country Manager, John Roos, revealed the company contributed over nineteen billion dollars to the economy from 2015 to 2022.

Roos also revealed plans in place to support employees through the phased closure, such as counselling services, education assistance, and financial literacy awareness, among others.

Photo Credits
nbc Digital News

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Author
Celma Ndhikwa