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MEI Online: Plant Operation News: Africa: August 31st 2011


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:: Banro Corp's Twangiza Phase 1 Gold Mine Plant Entering Cold Commissioning

Banro Corporation reports that construction of its wholly-owned Twangiza Phase 1 gold project in South Kivu Province, DRC, is proceeding on schedule with gold production expected to begin in Q4 2011. 'Cold commissioning' - a test run of fluids through the ore processing plant - has now commenced with mechanical commissioning that will proceed to 'hot commissioning' - a test run of low grade ore material through the plant - by mid-September.

"We are fast approaching a significant milestone for both Banro and South Kivu province in the DRC," commented Simon Village, CEO. "Since Banro's Board made the decision to proceed with development and construction of the Twangiza Mine in the summer of 2009, we have worked diligently to a fast schedule which has allowed our company to pour its first gold in two years, and with weeks to go, we remain on schedule. This event will also signal a tremendous achievement for the South Kivu province as it will be the first new commercial gold mine in the DRC for over half a century - and a testament to the co-operation with the community, government and industry which was necessary for this undertaking."

The successful activation of this 1.3 million tonnes/year capacity gold production facility follows 24 months of strict deadlines which have been systematically achieved starting with the plant site and construction camp civil excavation works, that were completed two months ahead of schedule with a total of 1.2 million tonnes of earth being excavated. The capacity of this plant is planned to be increased to 1.7 million tonnes/year by mid-2012.

Plant civil construction works are virtually complete while the structural, mechanical, electrical, instrumentation and piping is 93% complete. The Aggreko power plant - the diesel-powered generation system with a design capacity of 7 MW - is 90% complete and a source of raw water for the processing plant has been secured. Cold commissioning commenced the first week of August with the testing of the conveyer belts in the crushing circuit.

The construction of the tailings management facility is on schedule. Some 350,000 tonnes of earth was excavated in the construction of the foundation for the tailings dam wall and, to date 1.1 million tonnes of earth have been placed in the wall, which will have sufficient capacity to commence operations as per our mining schedule.

Grade control drilling for the initial mining has been completed confirming the resource model's evaluation, and based on this data an optimised mine plan has been finalised. Pre-strip, which was minimal owing to the outcrop of the reserves at surface, has been completed and mining production is expected to commence towards the end of August. The mine planning is designed to optimise revenue by careful management of the cut off/cut over relationships of the ore body.

Currently the mine is on schedule to pour gold in Q4 2011 and ramp up to full production of around 10,000 ounces per month early in 2012.




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