Banro Corp. has transitioned from contract to owner-operated mining at its Twangiza open-pit gold mine in South Kivu province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Twangiza became Banro’s first producing gold mine when it entered production in October 2011. When mill throughput reaches full capacity of 1.7 million mt/y, Twangiza will produce about 120,000 oz/y of gold over an expected mine life of seven to eight years based on currently-defined reserves.
Banlaw Afrique DRC provided earthworks and mining services at Twangiza beginning in January 2010. The Banlaw team will remain in their current roles at Twangiza and become Banro employees, eliminating the need for Banro to recruit and/or train for these positions.
“The decision to utilize a contractor to undertake the earthworks and mining at Twangiza during the initial start-up phase was driven primarily by the fast-tracking of the Twangiza project and the need to gear up quickly,” Simon Village, president and CEO of Banro, said. “However, with Banro looking to roll out a number of gold projects in succession, it now makes good business sense to bring these functions in-house.”
Banro is developing three additional major, wholly-owned gold projects, each with mining licenses, along the 210-km-long Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in South Kivu and Maniema provinces of the DRC. A second mine is planned at Namoya at the south end of the gold belt, and two other projects, Lugushwa and Kamituga, are being advanced in the central portion of the belt.