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Northern Namibia in Southern Africa is home to the largest free-roaming population of black rhinos.iStockPhoto / Getty Images

Vancouver-based gold mining company B2Gold (TSX:BTO) is donating 1,000 ounces of gold valued at approximately US$1.5-million to support black rhino conservation and the communities that protect them in Namibia, Southern Africa.

The gold was produced at B2Gold’s Otjikoto gold mine in Namibia. Limited-edition Rhino Gold Bars in varying sizes will be available for sale to the public. The proceeds will support rhino conservation in Namibia, home to the last and largest free-roaming population of black rhinos in the world.

The company says a rhino-based economy has developed in Namibia’s northwest, with rhino tracking central to tourism development that in turn provides jobs, income and hope for the future for Namibians.

The Rhino Gold Bar initiative was launched recently at two separate events in Windhoek, Namibia’s capital, and Cape Town, South Africa, at the Indaba mining conference. In making the announcement, B2Gold president and CEO Clive Johnson said the donation represents the first time gold is being used to provide sustainable funding to community-backed initiatives for the protection of the iconic black rhino, “a critically endangered global treasure.”

The bars are available for purchase in 500-gram, 1-ounce and half-ounce denominations through a third party at the spot price of gold on the date of sale plus a 15 per cent conservation premium. The proceeds will be managed by B2Gold and an advisory committee, which includes representatives from Save the Rhino Trust Namibia, Integrated Rural Development and Nature Conservation, Namibia Chamber of Environment, and the Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism.

The conservation premium will be used to fund the production of a follow-up range of gold bars or coins, which will be distinctly different from the first 1,000 Rhino Gold Bars, ensuring that this groundbreaking initiative remains self-sustaining.

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Produced by Randall Anthony Communications. The Globe’s editorial department was not involved in its creation.