B2Gold Corp. is pleased to announce that it has published its fifth annual Responsible Mining Report entitled “Raising the Bar” (the “Report”), which details B2Gold’s global economic contributions and its environmental, social, and governance management practices, together with the Company’s performance against key indicators in 2020. Full details are outlined in the Report, which is available to view or download at www.b2gold.com. All dollar figures are in United States dollars unless otherwise indicated.
In announcing the release of the 2020 Responsible Mining Report, Clive Johnson, President & CEO of B2Gold, said that “for B2Gold and the world, 2020 was an unprecedented year. The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has altered the way we all live and work, and I could not be more proud of the way that our teams across the globe were able to meet and exceed all expectations and deliver another successful year.”
Highlights from 2020 “Raising the Bar” Responsible Mining Report
As a responsible gold miner, B2Gold aims to create and distribute economic value among our stakeholders. Our economic performance is measured by the economic value that we generate for others, including payments to governments through taxes and royalties, local hiring and procurement, and investment in communities. In 2020, B2Gold:
B2Gold is committed to maximizing local and national economic benefits from its contracting and purchasing. In sourcing the goods and services necessary to run its operations, B2Gold gives preference to local businesses where possible, provided they meet minimum safety, quality, ethical, and cost requirements. Several 2020 success stories are outlined in the Report.
As a reputable employer, B2Gold generates opportunities for people to develop their careers; trains employees to acquire new skills; and opens doors to women, minorities, and previously-disadvantaged people. In a contracting world economy due to COVID-19, the social return on investment in the mining industry is now more important than ever. B2Gold is proud to continue positive contributions to the livelihoods of its employees and their families during this challenging time.
At the end of 2020, B2Gold employed 4,2991 people across all of its operations, 95% of which were local employees. Where the Company operates abroad, 55% of senior management is local. B2Gold continues to maintain high local employment rates by targeting recruitment efforts at local and national levels.
B2Gold saw a slight increase in female representation in 2020, with 13.4% of its total workforce being female (12% in 2019), and 23% of its senior positions being occupied by women. A Diversity and Inclusion Statement was implemented in 2020 with an executive champion to drive this important work. Moving forward, the Company will broaden its diversity focus beyond gender and, as such, this important work has evolved into an Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) Strategy. During a challenging time of lockdowns, quarantines, and changing work arrangements, B2Gold focused on including diverse voices in decision-making processes and providing equal access to benefits and support.
1 Employee total includes Gramalote Colombia Limited employees. It also includes supervised contracted labour but does not include unsupervised contractor employees. The reported numbers include full-time and part-time permanent employees as well as temporary employees.
Health and Safety
In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic presented new challenges to the Company’s goal of ensuring the ongoing health and safety of its workforce. Through the proactive efforts and the early targeted actions of B2Gold’s senior leadership team, health and safety teams, and epidemiological advisors, the Company was able to significantly mitigate and effectively manage the negative health and safety impacts of COVID-19 on its employees, operations, and the communities in which it operates.
B2Gold is pleased to report that in 2020, it once again maintained a zero-fatality workplace for the fifth consecutive year. Over this same period, B2Gold reduced its annual consolidated Lost Time Injury (LTI) Frequency Rate by 93% – from 0.83 in 2016 to an all-time low of 0.06 in 2020. This performance reflects B2Gold’s longstanding commitment to continuous safety improvement. The Company’s target for 2021 is to again have zero fatalities and for each operation to reduce its Total Recordable Injury (TRI) Frequency Rate from 2020 levels.
B2Gold is continuing to implement its 2020 to 2023 Environmental Strategic Plan (the “Strategic Plan”), which identifies key environmental aspects and defines specific objectives and targets for B2Gold’s operations. The Strategic Plan provides a road map for improved environmental risk management and performance in line with the overall Company strategy.
B2Gold recognizes that society, including business, must act against climate change and it is implementing a series of changes within the Company as a key aspect of the Strategic Plan. The strategy focuses on assessing and reducing the Company’s carbon footprint, incorporating climate change risk management into business planning/design, and increasing its external reporting and accountability. B2Gold will publish its first Energy and Climate Report in the second half of 2021, in line with the FSB TFCD Climate Disclosure Recommendations.
B2Gold is proud to be an industry leader in the implementation of renewable energy solutions to actively manage our emissions. The Company’s Otjikoto operation in Namibia maintains a fully autonomous hybrid power plant (consisting of 6 MW solar and 24 MW Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) components), which eliminated over 17,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions in 2020. Following the success of the Otjikoto hybrid power plant, B2Gold commenced the construction of a similar hybrid plant (consisting of 30 MW solar and 64 MW HFO components) at its Fekola operation in Mali in 2020. The Company expects that solar production will reach full capacity by the end of the second quarter of 2021. When complete, the Fekola hybrid power plant will be one of the largest off-grid facilities of its type in the world and is expected to reduce the operation’s annual HFO fuel consumption by approximately 13.1 million litres, keeping approximately 39,000 tonnes of CO2e from being released per year.
Throughout 2020, B2Gold continued its biodiversity conservation programs at its various sites around the world. Download our full Report and read more about our Chimpanzee Action plan in Mali, the Rhino Gold Bar initiative in Namibia, and the “Ridge to Reef” rehabilitation concept in the Philippines.
Approach to Reporting
Since 2016, B2Gold has reported its economic and environmental, social and governance (ESG) performance in alignment with the Global Reporting Initiative Standards, Core option and the G4 Mining and Metals Sector Disclosures. B2Gold’s performance is also mapped to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Company firmly believes that the mining industry has an opportunity to contribute positively to the SDGs and B2Gold has reported its contribution in this regard since 2018.
In 2020, the Company updated its approach to reporting against the SDGs in alignment with the GRI and UN Global Compact’s An Analysis of the Goals and Targets. As part of this process, B2Gold reviewed the targets developed for each SDG to identify those targets which are most applicable to the Company, as well as possible business actions to help achieve them.
COVID-19 Response Statement
From the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Company put measures in place and introduced additional precautionary steps to manage and respond to the risks associated with COVID-19 to ensure the safety of its employees and surrounding communities.
B2Gold has worked closely with national and local authorities in each country where it operates to ensure compliance with all public directives. Since the start of the pandemic, all B2Gold corporate personnel travel has been restricted to absolute minimum requirements and employees in the corporate offices have been encouraged to work remotely. In Mali, Namibia, the Philippines, Colombia and Canada, B2Gold provided approximately $4 million in financial assistance to the local communities and the local and national authorities in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Please read the Report for more detail.
The Company continues to address the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021. The pandemic continues to present new challenges, as COVID-19 cases surge again in different parts of the world at different times. Government and the private sector, including non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and the mining industry, must work together to ensure continued success around the globe in recovering from this public health crisis.
To view or download a copy of the Report, please visit www.b2gold.com/responsible-mining/esg-reporting-portal/.
About B2Gold Corp.
B2Gold is a low-cost international senior gold producer headquartered in Vancouver, Canada. Founded in 2007, today, B2Gold has operating gold mines in Mali, Namibia and the Philippines and numerous exploration and development projects in various countries including Mali, Colombia, Burkina Faso, Finland and Uzbekistan. B2Gold forecasts total consolidated gold production of between 970,000 and 1,030,000 ounces in 2021.
ON BEHALF OF B2GOLD CORP.
“Clive T. Johnson”
President & Chief Executive Officer
For more information on B2Gold, please visit the Company website at www.b2gold.com or contact: