Artisanal mining
dominates the area
surrounding the
Mongbwalu mine
in the DRC
 
Johannesburg, South Africa — 30 April 2012 – Top African gold producer AngloGold Ashanti has announced that it has commenced construction at its Mongbwalu mine in the north eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), and that it aims to start pouring gold before the end of 2013.

The mine “’ which lies in the formerly war-torn region of Ituri, a renowned gold bearing area “’ has a confirmed resource of 2.5Moz, according to general manager Richard Peattie. “We want this to become one of the cornerstones for AngloGold Ashanti in this region,” he told Reuters.

The construction phase is being accelerated to prove the company’s commitment to the region, where ongoing insecurity has hampered exploration, Peattie said.

The mine is expected to be the first of several projects on AngloGold’s 6,000sq km Ituri concession, where the company holds an 86.22% stake in a joint venture with the government.

“There’s no doubt that this place has got immense potential. Just a little bit of drilling that we’ve done around here would suggest that we can make this into something special,” Peattie declared, declining to give details of investment costs.

The Ituri region was the scene of brutal ethnic warfare during the DRC’s second civil conflict, which ended in 2003, and the area remains heavily dependent on informal artisanal mining to drive its fragile economic recovery.

AngloGold also has a 45% stake in a joint venture with Randgold and the DRC government in the Kibali mine project, which has probable reserves of more than 10Moz, and is also expected to start producing by end-2013.

Source: Reuters. For more information, click here.