Banro's Twangiza gold mine plant starts to arrive on site
A further significant new gold mine development in the troubled DRC is making progress, with gold plant components now arriving on site and a mine due on stream by end 2011.
Posted: Tuesday , 27 Jul 2010
Canadian junior gold developer, Banro, is starting to take delivery on site of the reconditioned gold plant which it is installing at its Twangiza gold property in the north-eastern DRC. The first fleet of trucks carrying the plant has arrived on site and assembly will begin in October when all the plant elements will have been received and preliminary construction work is complete.
The entire plant, which is being transported across the Continent by truck from Mombasa, Kenya in 140 - 40 foot containers, including the break bulk items, is scheduled to arrive on site over the next ten weeks.
The arrival on July 21, 2010 of the first fleet of trucks was greeted at Bukavu, the capital of South Kivu province, with a public ceremony hosted by the Governor and the Deputy Governor with the participation of the chiefs of the chefferies overlapping the Twangiza property and several other dignitaries. In his speech, the Governor of South Kivu promised his government's full support to Banro for the building of the Twangiza gold mine.
Banro controls a major position on the Twangiza/Namoya gold belt and, if all goes well, could eventually have four mines operating there - at Twangiza, Lugushwa, Namoya and Kamituga. Financing for the projects in this part of the DRC has been far from easy which has necessitated Banro going it alone in developing the properties itself where the preference may well have been to bring in a major partner. Indeed rumour had it that negotiations were under way with Randgold Resources over this, but these broke down when Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti, between them, secured the even bigger, and higher grade, Kibali project further to the west, which they are currently developing - see Randgold builds up speed on one of the world's great gold mines.
Twangiza is the most advanced of Banro's four projects, with a growing deposit that currently comprises measured and indicated Resources of 5.60 million ounces of gold and inferred resources of 400,000 ounces. The property is located 45 kilometres south-southwest of Bukavu and consists of six Exploitation Permits covering 1,164 square kilometres.
As far as mineable reserves there are concerned, consultants SRK estimated that total proven and probable reserves in a feasible open pit design totalled 82.46 million tonnes at 1.71 g/tonne gold, thus containing 4.54 million ounces.
Of the other projects, drilling has intercepted wide zones of gold mineralization at Lugushwa, located 150 km southwest of Bukavu, where so far an inferred mineral resource of 2.7 million ounces of gold has been delineated. At Namoya, 225 km southwest of Bukavu, a feasibility study is due to be completed this year on the currently delineated 1.124 million gold ounces in the measured and indicated categories, with a further 407,700 ounces of inferred gold. Finally Kamituga, located 100 kilometres southwest of Bukavu is the most mature of Banro's four properties, having previously been the site of major alluvial and underground mining operations.
Back at Twangiza Banro reports that construction is proceeding on chedule, with phase one earthworks having been completed at the end of last month. Civil works at the plant site are well advanced, with assembly of the reconditioned gold plant to begin in October this year. The final civil work is scheduled for completion in June 2011. The Company remains on schedule to complete construction of the Twangiza "Phase I" gold mine in the fourth quarter of 2011.