Gold Production and Revenue Surges in Q3 for B2Gold

Gold prices rebounded on Wednesday ahead of the confirmation hearing of Federal Reserve Chairman nominee Janet Yellen. President Barack Obama last month nominated Yellen, currently the vice chairman of the central bank, as the successor to current chairman Ben Bernanke. Because Yellen is viewed by most as having a more dovish stance on quantitative easing than Bernanke, analysts see her as being supportive of gold prices, although prices have been tossed to-and-fro on speculation of when tapering will begin on the Fed’s large monetary easing policy. Commentary from Yellen released yesterday did little to provide a timeframe, with Yellen just offering that the economy has made “good progress,” but is still “far short” of where it needs to be. With that, and in combination with a technical bounce, gold rallied more than 1 percent and is starting Thursday off with more upward pressure.

The mining faithful would like nothing more than to see gold break its bearish trend, including Vancouver-based B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO) (NYSE MKT:BTG), who early Thursday morning released its earnings report for the third quarter showing a big jump in production. B2Gold has three operating mines, the Masbate Mine in the Philippines and the Libertad Mine and the El Limon Mine in Nicaragua. Two other mines, Otjikoto in Nambia and Gramalote in Columbia, are expected to be in full production in 2015 and 2018, respectively.

Incidentally, Typhoon Haiyan, which leveled parts of the Philippines on November 8, had no material impact on the Masbate Mine. B2Gold said it has pledged $1 million for relief and reconstruction efforts in the Philippines.

On October 28, B2Gold said that it was buying Volta Resources Inc. (TSX:VTR) for about $63 million in an all-share transaction. Upon customary approvals, the acquisition will give the company an 81-percent interest in the advanced-stage Kiaka gold project in Burkina Faso, Africa and a 100-percent interest in two nearby gold exploration projects. A Pre-Feasibility Study on the Kiaka project showed an average annual production rate of approximately 340,000 ounces of gold over a 10-year mine life.

In the quarter ended September 30, B2Gold reported revenue of $128.7 million, up by 108 percent to $67.0 million in the third quarter of 2012. During the latest quarter, B2Gold sold 93,429 ounces of gold at an average price of $1,378 per ounce, compared to 39,668 ounces at an average of $1,691 per ounce a year earlier. Net income totaled $7.9 million, or 1 cent per share, compared to $14.5 million, or 4 cents per share, in Q3 2012. Adjusted income, which strips out one-time items, was $12.4 million, or 2 cents per share, versus $19.7 million, or 5 cents per share, in last year’s quarter.

Profits were trimmed by higher administrative costs, increased realized derivative losses, higher interest expenses and the company paying more income taxes than a year earlier.

B2Gold produced a record 98,992 ounces of gold, a 135-percent improvement from the year prior quarter. The majority of the increase was attributable to the acquisition of the Masbate Mine in January. Consolidated operating cash costs were $653 per ounce of gold. That was well below budgeted operating cash costs of $725 per ounce and $732 per ounce reported in the second quarter. All-in-sustaining costs were $995 per ounce.

For the first nine months of 2013, B2Gold has produced 274,710 ounces of gold. Revenue has risen $218.0 million over the same period in 2012 to $406.2 million. Adjusted net profit for the period is $60.0 million, or 10 cents per share.

As of September 30, the company had $283.7 million in cash and cash equivalents, up from $95.7 million at the end of June.

Looking ahead, B2Gold reiterated its guidance for a fifth consecutive year of increased gold production with production expected in the range of 360,000 to 380,000 ounces. Consolidated cash operating costs are targeted between $675 and $690 per ounce. For 2014, the company sees production increasing to 395,000 to 420,000 ounces at a consolidated cash operating cost of $680 to $705 per ounce.

US-listed shares of BTO closed Thursday at $2.33 for gains of 4.95 percent to add to a small gain on Wednesday.

B2Gold Corp. (BTG) Stock Quote and News:

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