Canada's B2Gold Corp said high-grade gold zone at Jabali in its La Libertad property has increased and it has started environmental studies and metallurgical test work.

The gold producer plans to start mining the Jabali mine in Nicaragua by late-2011.

B2Gold expects full-year production from La Libertad to be 93,000-99,000 ounces of gold.

Based on these results, the company raised the 2011 exploration budget for La Libertad to $8.75 million.

Jabali's gold grades of 4.58 grammes per tonne (g/t) is higher than the average 1.8 g/t at La Libertad, the company said in a statement.

Drilling has also continued to intersect strong gold mineralization at Mojon West, the company said.

Shares of the company were trading up 1 pct at C$4.07 on Thursday on the Toronto Stock Exchange.