June 10 (Reuters) - B2Gold Corp reported a first-quarter adjusted profit and its production more than doubled helped in part by higher recoveries at its Nicaraguan mines.
The Canadian gold producer, which has two mines in Nicaragua — La Libertad and Limon — said gold production in the quarter was 34,733 ounces at an operating cash cost of $531 per ounce, compared with 16,265 ounces at an operating cash cost of $772 per ounce last year.
On an adjusted basis, the Vancouver, British Columbia-based B2Gold’s net profit was $18.1 million, or 5 cents a share, compared with a net loss of $3.3 million, or 1 cent a share, a year ago.
Gold revenue jumped more than threefold to $53.5 million due mainly to higher gold production from its La Libertad mine and also on higher average realized gold prices.
The average realized price for the quarter was $1,381 per ounce.
The La Libertad mine, which began operating as a heap leach mine in 1996, commenced commercial production in February 2010.
In May, the company said it expected total gold production for 2011 to be about 130,000-140,000 ounces at average operating cash costs of about $540-$560 per ounce.
Shares of the company, which also has assets in Colombia and Uruguay, were up 3 Canadian cents at C$3.39 on Friday morning on the Toronto Stock Exchange. (Reporting by Bhaswati Mukhopadhyay in Bangalore; Editing by Roshni Menon)