The expansion at the Fekola mine (above) is completed before the original scheduled date of September 30. (Photo: B2Gold)

B2Gold has successfully commissioned the mill expansion at the Fekola mine to 7.5 million metric tons per year (mt/y), one month ahead of schedule. The expansion, which included all major construction activities and execution of a process performance test, was scheduled to be completed on September 30.

Four days after startup, the five-day mill performance test was conducted from August 26 to August 30. The results of the performance test exceeded design throughput, gold recovery, grind and availability over the five-day day period, according to the company. Minor, outstanding construction work is expected to be completed by mid-September.

The Fekola mine continues to operate unimpeded and no operational days have been lost due to the recent political developments in Mali or the COVID-19 pandemic, B2Gold said. The company said it will continue to work with regional and national governments to ensure its mining operations continue normally.

In addition, the company recently partnered with the government to assist the people of Mali in facing the challenges created by the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the mining sector.