Banro Advances Twangiza

Exploration activity at Banro Corp.’s Twangiza gold project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
(Photo courtesy of Banro Corp.)
Banro Corp. announced on June 8 results of an updated feasibility study of its whollyowned Twangiza open-pit gold project in South Kivu province in eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Subsequently, on June 25, the company reported that it had closed the sale of approximately C$100 million in common Banro shares, of which about $75 million will be applied to advancing its DRC gold projects. Banro is currently estimating a mine life of more than 20 years for the project, with concurrent mining of two open pits based on the Twangiza Main and Twangiza North deposits. Proven and probable reserves total 4.54 million oz of gold, with current planning calling for production of a total of 3.5 million oz from treatment of 82 million mt grading 1.71 g/mt gold.

Production from oxide reserves during the first three years of operation is projected at 313,000 oz/y of gold at average operating costs of $261/oz. Recently identified extensions of mineralization flanking the North and Main deposits, along with other targets within trucking distance of the proposed Twangiza plant, have the potential to add oxide resources to the project.

Initial capital costs to develop Twangiza are estimated at $337.43 million, including a contingency of $35.5 million. A separate, stand-alone, 30-MW hydroelectric plant on the Ulindi river to supply power to the project would cost an additional $133.8 million, with current planning calling for Banro to assume responsibility for half of this cost.

The Twangiza gold deposit was discovered by Miniere des Grande Lac in the 1950s, when the company followed alluvial gold deposits upstream to the present-day Twangiza site. Miniere des Grande Lac tested the deposit through 8,200 m of trenching and 12,100 m of adits on seven levels, collecting a total of 17,400 samples. In the mid-1970s, Charter Consolidated undertook detailed exploration, including the excavation of numerous close-spaced adits into the mineralized zone. Banro acquired control of the property in 1996.

As featured in Womp 2009 Vol 06 -