May 4, 2011 / 4:28 PM / 7 years ago

UPDATE 2-B2Gold reports sequential fall in Q1 gold prod, shrs down

* Says in Q1 Nicarguan mines produced 34,733 ounces vs Q4 37,000 ounces

* Says 2011 exploration, pre-feasibility budgets about $39 mln

* Revises production forecast for La Libertad and Limon mines

* Shares down 6 percent (Adds outlook, share milestone)

May 4 (Reuters) - Canadian miner B2Gold Corp reported a sequential drop in first-quarter production at its Nicarguan mines, sending its shares down as much as 7 percent

The miner now expects to produce about 130,000-140,000 ounces at a cash cost of $540-$560 per ounce this year from its La Libertad and Limon mines. It had earlier forecast 135,000 ounces.

B2Gold, which holds a 95-percent stake in Limon, said the mine is expected to produce about 42,000-46,000 ounces of gold this year. It had earlier expected the mine to produce 45,000 ounces.

For the Libertad mine, production is expected to be between 88,000 and 94,000 ounces, the company said. It had earlier forecast 90,000 ounces of gold.

The company said it produced 34,733 ounces of gold in the quarter, compared with 37,000 ounces in the fourth quarter.

The company, which also has assets in Colombia, Costa Rica and Uruguay, said its 2011 exploration and pre-feasibility budgets total about $39 million and will fund about 84,000 meters of diamond drilling.

Shares of B2Gold have fallen nearly 15 percent since touching a high of C$3.57 last month. They were trading down 6 percent at C$2.86 on Wednesday on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Amruta Sabnis in Bangalore; Editing by Jarshad Kakkrakandy)

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