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Press release from Marketwire

B2Gold Corp. Corporate Update

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

B2Gold Corp. Corporate Update09:16 EDT Tuesday, May 11, 2010 VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA--(Marketwire - May 11, 2010) - B2Gold Corp. (TSX:BTO) ("B2Gold" or the "Company"), announces the following update in the affairs of the Company, including: -- La Libertad and Limon mine production update -- Positive exploration drilling results for La Libertad mine and Limon mine -- Updates on other properties La Libertad Mine, Nicaragua (B2Gold 100%)Gold and silver production recommenced at the open pit La Libertad mine in January 2010. Commercial production commenced February 1. The production ramp up has gone well with the sag and ball mills often significantly exceeding the design throughput of 3,500 tonnes per day. In April, the mills processed an average of over 3,900 tonnes per day. The second ball mill has been installed and is scheduled to be commissioned by the end of June. Processing is projected to ramp up to 5,500 tonnes per day by August of 2010. La Libertad mine is projected to produce 80,000 to 90,000 ounces of gold in 2010 at a cash operating cost of approximately US$500 per ounce.During the first quarter ramp up of production, La Libertad mine produced a total of 6,008 ounces of gold at an operating cash cost of $1,045 per ounce. Operating cash costs for the first quarter were projected to be substantially higher due to the buildup of gold inventory in the plant, an elevated stripping ratio and a higher percentage of spent ore which is at a lower grade. In addition, in the upper benches of the pits, a significant amount of the veins had been mined out by historic mining which also contributed to the lower grades. Over the last several days, mining has reached fresh ore in the pits and the grade of the ore is increasing to budgeted levels.Limon Mine, Nicaragua (B2Gold 95%)Gold production has continued to improve at the Limon mine in the first quarter of 2010 after a poor year of production in 2009 caused by a number of illegal union strikes. The mine has run consistently at its design capacity of 1,000 tonnes of ore per day for the quarter without interuption, processing 89,165 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 4.27 grams of gold per tonne, producing 10,257 ounces of gold. Operating cash costs were $611 per ounce of gold. The mine is projected to produce approximately 40,000 ounces of gold in 2010 with operating cash costs budgeted at approximately $625 per ounce.The Limon mine has a current projected mine life of 3.5 years. Historically over 3 million ounces have been mined from Limon and the Company's geological team has identified numerous targets and believes there is excellent potential to increase the mine life and discover additional veins. Early exploration results from the current drill program have yielded positive results (see Limon Exploration below).La Libertad ExplorationJabali ZoneRecent results from trenching and drilling on the Jabali zone on the La Libertad property have returned good gold grades over significant widths. The Jabali vein system is located at the east end of the 20 kilometre long belt of gold bearing veins on the Libertad property. Jabali is an east-west trending, low sulphidation, epithermal quartz vein system which was mined for its high grade ore from 1862 to 1956 and has been traced over a distance of 6.2 kilometres.There are two programs currently underway at Jabali; trenching and drilling for new open pit and/or underground resources at the Antenna and Central zones, as well as trench evaluation of the colluvium, generated from previous open pit and underground exploitation.The company believes the Jabali area has excellent potential. Most of the near surface high grade vein material exposed in the trenching has been partially mined historically, but remains open to depth. In addition the trenching indicates that the lower grade veins and stockwork zones were never mined. 18 trenches testing the Jabali quartz vein stockwork system at surface have been completed over three areas covering three kilometres of the strike of the 6.2 kilometre long system.Assay highlights are shown in the table below, but of note are Jabali Antenna trench JBTR09-04, which intersected 24.35 metres grading 2.39 grams per tonne gold in mixed quartz vein and stockwork surrounding historical mining backfill, Jabali Central trench JBTR09-13, which intersected 22.8 metres grading 5.17 grams per tonne gold in a quartz vein breccia and JBTR09-11, which intersected 46.35 metres grading 3.04 grams per tonne gold in mixed historical mine dump colluvium (derived from local historic mining) and quartz veining. Additional trenching to test the remainder of the strike length is ongoing.Highlights of the Jabali vein trenching results are as follows (Uncapped): --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Deposit Trench From To Metres Gold (g/t) Silver (g/t) --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-01 10.20 21.90 11.70 3.16 7.26 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-03 5.50 12.40 6.90 2.17 22.06 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-04 2.00 26.35 24.35 2.39 39.07 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-05 3.50 15.00 11.50 8.70 26.87 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-05 34.85 48.9 14.05 4.11 43.44 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-06 21.85 29.15 7.30 1.67 26.38 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-07 18.90 27.00 8.10 2.05 30.69 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Antenna JBTR09-08 2.30 10.40 8.10 1.53 33.87 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Central JBTR09-10 0.00 16.00 16.00 12.40 7.00 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Central JBTR09-10 27.15 38.60 11.45 2.40 4.35 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Central JBTR09-11 0.00 46.35 46.35 3.04 10.20 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Central JBTR09-12 6.80 28.40 21.60 2.10 5.84 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Central JBTR09-13 1.50 24.30 22.80 5.17 10.57 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Central JBTR10-14 4.00 20.00 16.00 2.62 5.23 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Central JBTR10-16 4.00 21.80 17.80 1.01 7.87 --------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subsequent drilling of both the Central and Antenna zones, which is currently ongoing, has returned the following results (Uncapped), with more assays still pending: ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Drill Metres Gold Silver Deposit Hole From To (i) (g/t) (g/t) ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali (Antenna Zone) JB10-001 65.00 86.34 21.34 1.37 36.91 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Incl. 73.50 79.20 5.70 3.05 71.28 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali (Antenna Zone) JB10-005 102.9 135.64 32.74 8.74 38.88 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Incl. 112.78 118.87 6.09 41.20 155.18 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali (Central Zone) JB10-006 59.54 73.15 13.61 0.98 9.03 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Incl. 59.54 62.91 3.37 1.90 15.20 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Incl. 67.98 73.15 5.17 1.10 10.19 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali (Central Zone) JB10-007 65.88 84.56 18.68 4.10 19.07 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali Incl. 83.24 83.99 0.75 21.03 75.06 ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali (Central Zone) JB10-008 89.82 108.6 18.78 4.34 pending ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jabali (Central Zone) Incl. 97.04 108.0 10.93 6.25 pending ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- (i)Metres - indicates down hole intervalIn addition to the Jabali vein system, two other veins located seven kilometres northeast of the Libertad Mine were tested by trenching. The east-west trending El Carmen and Escandalo veins have been traced for 1,200 metres and 500 metres respectively and are open along strike. Both veins have been mined to shallow depths on a small scale.Of particular note is the El Carmen trench CATR09-02, which intersected 20.1 metres grading 5.59 grams per tonne gold in quartz vein, breccias and stockwork and the Escandalo trenching, which indicates strong potential for open pit targets, similar in grade and thickness to the present Mojon pit.Highlights of the new trenching results are as follows: -------------------------------------------------------------------- Deposit Trench From To Metres Gold (g/t) Silver (g/t) -------------------------------------------------------------------- El Carmen CATR09-01 12.00 20.50 8.50 1.16 6.46 -------------------------------------------------------------------- El Carmen CATR10-02 9.50 29.60 20.10 5.59 49.92 -------------------------------------------------------------------- El Carmen CATR10-03 10.80 23.85 13.05 1.09 2.57 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Escandalo CATR10-04 14.00 34.65 20.65 1.15 11.38 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Escandalo ESTR10-01 2.00 13.00 11.00 2.14 14.99 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Escandalo ESTR10-02 0.00 22.00 22.00 2.85 15.38 -------------------------------------------------------------------- Escandalo ESTR10-03 22.25 31.75 9.50 0.66 5.41 -------------------------------------------------------------------- An initial drill hole has been completed on both targets and results are pending.The Company has also received positive drill results from the initial diamond drilling in and adjacent to the Mojon and Crimea deposits. The total exploration and drilling budget for the La Libertad Property of $3.1 million for 2010 with a total of 12,000 metres of diamond drilling planned. Drilling commenced on February 19 and is ongoing with 28 holes totaling 4,700 metres completed to date with two drill rigs on site. This program is focused on evaluating the possibility of expanding the open pits below the current reserves at the Crimea, Mojon and Santa Maria deposits as well as the exploration drilling at Jabali and other epithermal vein targets such as San Juan, El Carmen, Escandalo and Los Angeles.The high grade drill intercepts below are from the hanging wall veins, previously modeled as lower grade.Highlights from the recent drilling are as follows (Uncapped): ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Deposit Drill Hole From To Metres(i) Gold (g/t) Silver (g/t) ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Crimea CR10-002 85.67 87.26 1.59 137.58 64.89 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Crimea CR10-004 94.80 96.00 1.20 24.82 17.66 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mojon MJ10-001 97.73 107.70 9.97 33.60 288.27 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ Mojon MJ10-002 117.00 122.70 5.70 5.59 35.26 ------------------------------------------------------------------------ (i)Metres - indicates down hole intervalEl Limon Property ExplorationThe Company has received high grade gold intercepts, with significant widths in several new drill holes. The exploration and drilling budget for the Limon Property of $3.8 million for 2010 with a total of 14,800 metres of diamond drilling planned. A surface exploration program comprised of geophysics and soil geochemistry is currently underway with a trenching program set to start once permits are received. Diamond drilling in the Santa Pancha area of the El Limon concession started on April 1st and to May 1st 1,266 metres has been completed in ten holes. Two drills are currently operating.Full results have been received for the mine resource definition drill program conducted in 2009 and early 2010 on the Santa Pancha vein system. Drilling in the Shaft #4 area targeted near surface mineralization in the footwall vein structure to the south of current mining in Pit 5. Recent in house studies indicate that this area will be amenable to open pit mining with new drilling highlighted by hole LIM-09-3468, which returned 9.85 metres (true width 9.06 metres) grading 7.45 grams per tonne gold. In the Shaft #2 area shallow drilling to the south of the shaft intersected 11.55 metres (true width 7.86 metres) grading 12.62 grams per tonne gold in hole LIM-10-3477 and 13.45 metres (true width 8.77 metres) grading 6.99 grams per tonne gold in hole LIM-10-3479. Permitting has started for the open pit mining of both these zones. Additionally, in the Shaft #2 area encouraging results have been received from drilling of the main vein area adjacent to areas of current mining. Hole LIM-09-3470 returned 2.0 metres (true width 1.80 metres) grading 19.95 grams per tonne gold, within a 4.7 metres (true width 4.24 metres) zone grading 9.21 grams per tonne gold, and hole LIM-10-3473 returned 12.78 metres (true width 11.98 metres) grading 3.62 grams per tonne gold.Initial drilling in the Santa Pancha "Deep" area is highlighted by hole LIM-10-3476 which returned 20.8 metres (true width 15.73 metres) grading 9.45 grams per tonne gold, including 5.8 metres grading 15.26 grams per tonne gold and 5.5 metres grading 14.92 grams per tonne gold. Infill drilling is currently being conducted in this area to confirm and upgrade the December 2009 inferred resource of 167,000 ounces of gold (1.1 million tonnes at 4.7 grams per tonne gold at 2.3 grams per tonne gold cut off).Radius Joint Venture, NicaraguaWork crews continue to define the extent of the gold anomaly at the main Trebol epithermal gold prospect in northeast Nicaragua (see Radius press release dated March 23rd, 2010), using detailed surface sampling and trenching. Results are pending. In addition soil sampling has confirmed another anomaly 5 kilometres to the southwest, also along trend, in which float boulders have returned similar grades up to 4 grams per tonne gold. Both of these new areas will be developed in the coming months with trenching and more sampling.At the El Pavon project, closely spaced trenching has been completed over the Ahumada Vein at Pavon Sur. Channel and saw-cut sampling are being utilized to determine open pit potential on the oxidized surface enriched zone at both the Pavon Sur and Norte targets. Trenching at Pavon Norte is currently underway.Kupol East and West Licenses, Far East RussiaA spring drill program comprising 5 holes totaling 2,788 metres has been completed on additional targets in the Moroshka basin looking for veins other than those discovered to date. Results are pending. Drilling at the main Moroshka vein system will commence later in the year.The exploration programs are reviewed and the results approved by Tom Garagan, B2Gold's Qualified Person under National Instrument 43-101. The programs utilize extensive QA/QC (quality assurance and quality control) protocols for assaying and sample handling that consist of the systematic insertion of blanks, standards and duplicates as well as using a secondary laboratory for regular check assaying. Core samples are cut with a diamond saw and then are brought to the Mine preparation laboratories where they are dried, crushed and pulverized.Samples from the Nicaraguan projects (after preparation at the Mine) are sent directly to ALS Chemex Labs in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for gold and silver fire assay. Check assays are sent out on a quarterly basis to Skyline Laboratories in Tuscon, AZ. Samples from Kupol East and West are analyzed at Kinross' Kupol Mine Lab.ON BEHALF OF B2GOLD CORP."Clive T. Johnson", President and Chief Executive OfficerFor more information on B2Gold please visit the Company web site at securities described herein have not been and will not be registered under the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an applicable exemption from registration requirements.Some of the statements contained in this release are forward-looking statements, such as estimates and statements that describe the Company's future plans, objectives or goals, including words to the effect that the Company or management expects a stated condition or result to occur. Since forward-looking statements address future events and conditions, by their very nature, they involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results in each case could differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements.FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE CONTACT: B2Gold Corp. Kerry Suffolk Manager, Investor Relations 604-681-8371 The Toronto Stock Exchange neither approves nor disapproves the information contained in this News Release.