Strong Results from 2020 for African Gold Majors

B2Gold and Centamin have seen a rise of gold production in the second quarter


TSX-listed gold major B2Gold has produced 239 574 oz of gold in the second quarter of 2020 which was 15% higher compared to the second quarter in 2019.

The significant increase in B2Gold’s production rate is linked to the output at the company’s Fekola mine in Mali. The expansion of the mining fleet and improvements of the pit designs have enabled earlier and greater access to higher grade portions of the Fekola. The project is currently running on time and below budget with completed expectancy to be at the end of the third quarter of 2020.

Furthermore, B2Gold’s Otjikoto Mine in Namibia has additionally increased its production to 43 496 oz of gold in the second quarter of 2020. The engineering of Otjikoto’s Wolfshag’s underground mine is also running on schedule and expected to commence in the first quarter.

Higher gold prices and the rise of sales have helped Centamin to increase the company’s free cash flow to $56 million for the second quarter of 2020 with 196% growth year-on-year. Centamin’s gross profit for the second quarter improved by 54% year-on-year to $227 million, whilst net cash generated from operating activities grew 151% year-on-year to $144 million.

On May 15, Centamin announced its first interim dividend distribution of $69 million following the success built up of cash and assets in the total value of $367 million.

The reason for the expanding production and higher earnings is based upon improved efficiencies at Centamin’s Sukari gold mine in Egypt. The Sukari gold mine produced 130 994 oz of gold in the June quarter, an 11% elevation year-on-year. An increase in mill feed head grade and the deferral of a planned maintenance programme to the second half of the year due to COVID-19 has resulted in greater production and processing volumes. Despite the global pandemic, Centamin CEO Martin Horgan has a positive outlook on the future development of the company: “While we continue to actively manage the potential future impacts of Covid-19, we remain confident we are on track to meet guidance and have narrowed the production range to 510 000 oz to 525 000 oz, and kept cost guidance unchanged.” 

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