DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO – As of Sept. 1, 2012, the Twangiza gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will officially reach commercial production, according to owner Banro Corporation of Toronto. The mill is now operating at a rate of 1.3 million t/y and is expected to produce approximately 96,000 oz of gold annually.
“Achieving commercial production is Banro’s most significant milestone to date and one for which our board, management, and staff can proudly take credit,” commented Banro president & CEO Simon Village. “We have succeeded in establishing our first gold production unit in an area which, only three years ago, had virtually no passable roads, no power, no workable infrastructure and no skilled mining labour. It is this flagship mine and the in-county skills we have established that will secure the development of this gold belt. In addition to creating a mine in a remote part of the DR Congo, Banro has worked closely with its communities to deliver potable water, schools, clinics, direct and indirect employment, and prospects for a better future. We are both proud and humbled by these accomplishments. We will continue to drive for optimizations at Twangiza that lead to productivity improvements, and the potential to produce at a rate above the 10,000 ounce per month target will be vigorously pursued.”
At the mineral processing plant, the No.1 ball mill and primary crusher have been recommissioned, to be followed shortly by the secondary and tertiary crushing circuits. The mill is then expected to recover 8,000 oz of gold per month.
Banro is already planning a mill expansion to 2.0 million t/y that will take gold production to at least 10,000 oz per month. Over the next 12 months a larger mineral sizer/primary crusher will be installed to increase front end capacity, a second elution circuit and a gold room will be added, and additional carbon-in-leach (CIL) tanks will be installed to provide appropriate leach residence time at increased throughputs. The upgrades are aimed at achieving the step up to the 2.0 million t/y in a single expansion, rather than increasing throughput incrementally as was originally planned.
Banro has a second mine, Namoya, under development in the DRC. Information about it as well as the Twangiza project are available at Banro.com.