B2Gold listed on the Namibian Stock Exchange (NSX) this week having acquired Auryx Gold which listed locally last year, the chief asset of which is the Otjikoto Gold Project. The Canadian company now owns 92% of the project along with EVI Mining, its empowerment partner which holds the other 8%. Dr Leake Hangala, chairman of the B2Gold Namibia board, explained that the Development Bank of Namibia was chief amongst the financiers behind EVI.
John Mandy, representing the NSX, said that the local exchange was happy to celebrate yet another listing and a Main Board listing at that, which makes this company, “different from other explorers,” he said. Mandy also noted the use of depository receipts to demonstrate ownership which the Bank of Namibia has condoned. Such depository receipts can be traded directly on the local exchange and, “not as previously when you had to buy those shares elsewhere.” Also Mandy said that the listing, “will add another N$10 billion to NSX market capitalisation, which as of Thursday was N$1.167 trillion, making it the second largest in Africa.”
B2Gold is the sixty-fourth company to list on the Namibian exchange, which now boasts twenty-five on the main board and seven exploration companies. B2Gold director, Bongani Mtshisi, said: “Otjikoto makes sense. People are always weary and there is scepticism around Africa, but people love Namibia and this environment.
That is how Auryx raised about US$85 million in the US, because people have faith in this country and its laws. B2Gold has built mines all over the world and we are competent operators and environmentally sensitive. Whatever we do in Namibia will be done responsibly and sustainably,” he said. Bill Lytle, managing director of B2Gold Namibia, said that “B2Gold chose to list on the Namibian Stock Exchange to gain access to Namibia’s and South Africa’s large captive savings pool for investment, to expose our company to a wider audience and to show commitment to developing the economy in this great country.”
According to Lytle, “The Otjikoto Gold project is the project that brought B2Gold to Namibia. B2Gold acquired a 92% interest in Otjikoto (along with 100% interest in 2 other exploration projects) through a business combination with Auryx Gold in December 2011. The project has access to good infrastructure (3 km east of the B1, approximately half-way between Otavi and Otjiwarongo), has railhead access, is near the local power grid and has sufficient water on site.” The Preliminary Economic Assessment, filed by Auryx Gold in September 2011, indicates the prospect of 100 000 ounces of gold per year over a 10 year mine life, he said.