Banro Corporation
Banro Corporation Namoya gold mine DRC
DRC-focused gold producer Banro is investigating the possibility of establishing underground mining under the existing open pits at its Twangiza and Namoya mines.

Given Twangiza and Namoya’s favorable topography, Banro says adit access by horizontal or nearly horizontal shafts would be employed which could be less capital intensive than typical underground mining operations which utilise vertical shafts.

Banro made this announcement in its Q2, 2017 financial results which delivered poor production performances from both mines.

Moving forwards, to help address this issue, Banro says it intends to control costs by continuing to improve operating efficiencies through optimising operating procedures and increasing production and processing capacities at Twangiza and Namoya to benefit from economies of scale, while maintaining strong environmental and safety standards.

Operational performance at Twangiza

During the second quarter of 2017, the plant at the Twangiza mine processed 386 295 t of ore (compared to 414 829 t during the second quarter of 2016).

Ore was processed during the second quarter of 2017 at an indicated head grade of 2.42 g/t (compared to 2.75 g/t during the second quarter of 2016) with a recovery rate of 67.4% (compared to 75.7% during the second quarter of 2016).

It produced 19 588 oz of gold – compared to 26 218 oz second quarter of 2016.

Operational performance at Namoya

Namoya’s operations were interrupted by two security incidents during the second quarter of 2017. The impact included the loss of 8.5 days of mining operations.

The delivery of the new mining fleet in July 2017 is expected to assist in achieving higher levels of gold production.

During the second quarter of 2017, the plant at the Namoya mine stacked 579 179 t of ore (compared to 485 319 t during the second quarter of 2016).

The head grade of the ore stacked during the second quarter of 2017 was 1.85 g/t (compared to 2.03 g/t during the second quarter of 2016).

Namoya produced 19 151 oz of gold during the second quarter of 2017 – compared to 23, 55 oz of gold during the second quarter of 2016.

2017 outlook

With regard to the lower than expected gold production achieved at both mines during the first six months of 2017 and the on-going challenging operating environment given the current instability in the DRC, Banro does not expect to reach its previously provided 2017 gold production outlook.

It is currently not in a position to provide updated forward-looking gold production information for the remainder of 2017 either.

Feature image credit: Banro (Namoya mine)