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UPDATE 2-B2Gold Q4 output up 21 pct sequentially, shares rise
January 24, 2011 / 2:10 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-B2Gold Q4 output up 21 pct sequentially, shares rise

* Produces 37,000 ounces of gold in Q4

* Expects to produce 135,000 ounces in 2011

* Shares rise 6 pct (Adds details, share movement)

Jan 24 (Reuters) - Gold producer B2Gold Corp (BTO.TO) reported a nearly 21 percent sequential rise in fourth-quarter production, sending its shares up 6 percent.

Vancouver, British Columbia-based B2Gold, which has two mines in Nicaragua, said it expects to produce about 135,000 ounces at a cash cost of $540-$560 per ounce this year from its La Libertad and Limon mines.

The company, which also has assets in Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay, produced about 109,000 ounces of gold last year.

The La Libertad mine began operating as a heap leach mine in 1996 and B2Gold took full control of it in March 2009.

The company, which holds 95 percent stake in Limon, said the mine is expected to produce about 45,000 ounces of gold this year, from 40,125 ounces from last year.

B2Gold said operating costs at the Limon mine will be high mainly due to haulage costs, but expects the costs to come down as it starts mining underground closer to the mill.

U.S. gold futures for February delivery GCG1 rose $4.80 an ounce to $1,345.80 on Monday.

The company has a an exploration budget of about $35 million for this year.

B2Gold produced 37,000 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter versus 30,700 ounces in the third quarter.

The company’s shares were up 11 Canadian cents at C$2.42 in late morning trade on the Toronto Stock Exchange, after touching a high of C$2.44. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Unnikrishnan Nair)

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