NYSE- and TSX-listed Banro Corporation, a gold miner focused on the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), has reported its highest gold production in December – the company’s best quarterly gold production since it began producing gold.
Together, Twangiza and Namoya produced 38 236 ounces of gold during Q4 2014, Banro revealed in a statement. Twangiza poured 8 071 ounces in October, 9 825 ounces in November and 11 549 ounces in December for a fourth quarter 2014 total of 29 445 ounces of gold. Namoya poured 1 749 ounces in October, 3 042 ounces in November and 4 000 ounces in December for a fourth quarter 2014 total of 8 791 ounces of gold.
Focusing on moving forward
Throughout 2014, the management teams at Twangiza and Namoya focused on operational and cost efficiencies. “In particular, significant steps were taken to ensure that operations were less hindered during the frequent periods of adverse weather conditions at each site,” Banro said.
As a result of the operational efficiency drive, Twangiza production has grown significantly throughout 2014 and strong quarterly production improvement has been experienced at Namoya. The production growth of the two operations, during Q4 2014 in particular, provides a strong foundation for meeting steady state production at Twangiza and Namoya.
Namoya in depth
Banro has purchased the agglomeration drum required for the Namoya processing plant enhancement, which is expected to raise the gold production profile for the Namoya operations from its current level of approximately 4 000 ounces per month achieved during December 2014 to a monthly rate of up to 6 000 ounces per month by the end of Q1 2015.
“’The inclusion of the agglomeration stage (with cement added as a binder) into the Namoya heap leach circuit is expected to allow for more efficient processing of the fines content of the Namoya ore and ensure more efficient reagent percolation in the heap process, leading to better gold recovery,” commented Banro CEO and President John Clarke.
With heap leach operations taking several months of continuous percolation to fully recover the leachable gold, the full benefits of the improvements to the heap leach circuit are expected to build up during Q2 2015 to a monthly gold production rate of up to 8 000 ounces per month by mid-year 2015.
Gold Holding gold sale to be finalized
Banro has not yet completed the gold sale transaction with Gold Holding related to the Twangiza mine, which contemplates the prepayment by Gold Holding to Banro of US$41 million for its purchase of 40 500 ounces of gold from the Twangiza mine, with the gold deliverable over four years, at 10 125 ounces per year. This is affecting the company’s liquidity situation, and Banro is progressing alternatives and careful cash management.
“The closing of the transaction with respect to the Twangiza gold sale has been delayed due to ongoing internal issues relating to Gold Holding, but we continue to work with them toward closing, although in a more extended timeline than what was originally contemplated,” commented Banro Board Chairman Richard Brissenden. “We expect that this transaction, or alternatives to address our liquidity situation, will be finalized in the near term.”