Toronto, Canada — MININGREVIEW.COM — 13 May 2010 – Banro Corporation – a Canadian-based gold exploration company with four wholly-owned properties along a major gold belt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC)”’ is issuing shares to raise US$122.5 million (R918 million) to build a mine in the central African country.
Listed on the Toronto and New York stock exchanges and based in Toronto, Banro raised US$98 million (R 737 million) in June 2009 via a rights issue. The company plans to pour its first gold in the fourth quarter of 2011 in the first phase of its project in Kivu province in northeastern DRC. Banro reckons it could produce up to 700 000 oz of gold annually if all goes to plan, according to a presentation by the company at PDAC here in March.
The first phase involves building a plant at Twangiza that can process up to 1.3 million tonnes of ore a year and potentially produce 80 000 to 110 000 oz of gold a year. A feasibility study last year laid out a case for Banro achieving average production of nearly 313 000 oz of gold a year in the first three years at a total operational cash cost of US$261/oz.
The project will cost U$377 million (R2.8 billion), but this could rise to US$444 million (R3.3 billion) if Banro funds half of a US$134 million (R1 billion) 30 megawatt hydro power station.
In the latest offering of shares, which is underwritten by a syndicate led by GMP Securities and CIBC World Markets, 61 million shares will be privately placed at C$2.05 each. The offer closes on 20 May this year.
The underwriters have an option to buy up to 10% of the shares sold. Banro, headed by former Gold Fields executive Mike Prinsloo as CEO, will use the money towards developing phase one, extra drilling at Twangiza and general corporate purposes.
Twangiza will be an opencast mine.