Banro updates Congo gold mining operations
Banro Corp. [BAA-TSX, NYSE MKT] has released operating results for the fourth quarter of 2015 and has declared commercial production at its Namoya gold mine.
The Twangiza Mine produced 30,440 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter of 2015, for annual production of 135,532 ounces of gold, an increase of 38% over 2014 production of 98,184 ounces. Throughput at the Twangiza process plant achieved 101% of the 1.7-million-tonne-per-annum design capacity. Namoya declared commercial production effective January 1, 2016.
Twangiza and Namoya produced a combined 46,341 ounces of gold during the fourth quarter of 2015, for 2015 annual gold production of 183,369 ounces, well within consolidated production guidance. Both operations are located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Africa.
“The fourth quarter of 2015 was a critical time for Namoya, with the major goal being the commissioning of the new mining fleet. We are very pleased to announce that this was achieved in early December, which in turn has enabled the company to declare commercial production at Namoya, effective January 1, 2016,” said Banro President and CEO Dr. John Clarke.
“Meanwhile, Twangiza continued to perform well through the fourth quarter, with strong gold production results consistent with those of the first three quarters of the year,” said Clarke. “The outstanding and stable production profile achieved in 2015 provides the company with a stable foundation for continuing improvements in operations. In particular, we look forward to Namoya making a growing contribution to the company’s results and to the benefits of having two fully operational plants in our Twangiza-Namoya gold belt.”
Twangiza’s efforts in 2015 were focused on increasing throughput and gold production at the processing plant. This was achieved through the successful blending of non-oxide material at increasing levels with oxide material. This initiative was accompanied by test trials, to evaluate potential expansion opportunities at the process plant. In 2016, efforts will shift to exploring opportunities to enhance production by building on the existing plant infrastructure, in particular expanding the crushing capacity as contemplated in the use of proceeds from the financing transactions as announced in Banro’s December 31, 2015, press release.
Twangiza experienced above average rainfall conditions in the fourth quarter of 2015, exacerbated by the El Nino effect. This created higher levels of operational downtime in the mining operations, impacting mining productivity and ore face availability. Despite this, the Twangiza process plant operated as planned, achieving a full year of throughput that was above the design capacity level of 1,714,000 tonnes per annum, and representing an increase of 26% over fiscal 2014 (1,358,000 tonnes per annum).
Twangiza poured 30,440 ounces of gold in the fourth quarter, bringing 2015 annual production to 135,532 ounces of gold. This exceeds both the original and updated full-year production guidance for Twangiza for 2015.