As gold sector consolidates, analysts see possible role for B2Gold – by Niall McGee (Globe and Mail – January 28, 2019)

With two of the biggest takeovers in the Canadian gold sector in a decade unveiled in the past few months, attention has turned to who might be next. Some analysts think it could be B2Gold Corp.

The Vancouver-based gold miner has posted sharply higher production and earnings in a sector where many companies have stumbled in pursuit of growth. In a little over a decade, the company has turned itself from a tiny explorer to close to a million-ounce-a-year producer.

B2Gold has done that primarily by making smart acquisitions and building its own mines, a rarity in an industry that typically outsources construction to an external engineering firm.

“The team has demonstrated a keen eye for identifying attractive assets and then a steady hand at developing and operating the mines,” John Bridges, analyst with JP Morgan, wrote in a recent note to clients.

In 2014, B2Gold bought what is now considered its marquee asset, the Fekola development project in Mali for US$550-million. The company spent US$450-million on construction and another US$50-million exploring for more gold on site.

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