TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 04/25/12 -- Banro Corporation ("Banro" or the "Company") (TSX:BAA)(NYSE Amex:BAA) provides an operations update for its Twangiza oxide mine and its Namoya development project, both located on the Twangiza - Namoya gold belt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the "DRC").
First quarter 2012 gold output from Twangiza oxide mine through the commissioning process was 17,412 ounces at an average cash cost of $613/oz and average grade of 3.1g/t Au with recoveries reaching 84% by the end of the quarter. Production is forecast to increase to the planned 10,000 ounce/month level in Q2, following the replacement of the No. 1 ball mill motor in April, which delayed the ramp up to full production. Banro anticipates signing off on normalised commercial production during Q2.
"We are pleased with Twangiza's Q1 ramp-up progress and continue to be confident that we can achieve our 2012 target production levels and cash costs," commented CEO Simon Village. "Although cash costs of US$613/oz for the first quarter are respectable relative to the industry, and considering the mine is not yet operating at full capacity, having now operated for a full quarter at Twangiza it is clear that there is further opportunity for meaningful cost reductions. We believe these cost reductions will bring costs under the $550/oz. level. Therefore, despite the slightly slower than expected ramp-up to full production, we expect to achieve levels of cash-flow contribution from Twangiza in our target range owing to a gold price that is higher than was originally anticipated during at the feasibility stage and our focus on reducing costs."
Construction of the Namoya mine, at the southern end of the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, is ongoing. Process design has been signed off and engineering design has been secured to allow ordering of long-lead items. All major earthworks equipment has now been procured and mobilization of this equipment to site is underway. The project team is fully staffed and Namoya is on track for first gold production in the first quarter of 2013 with planned ramp-up to full production of 10,000 - 12,000 ounces of gold per month by the second quarter of 2013.
Louis Owusu Gyawu, Mine Planning Superintendent, an employee and "qualified person" (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101), has reviewed and approved the technical information in this press release.
Banro Corporation is a Canadian gold mining company focused on production from the Twangiza oxide mine and development of four additional major, wholly-owned gold projects, each with mining licenses, along the 210 kilometre long Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the South Kivu and Maniema provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Led by a proven management team with extensive gold and African experience, Banro's plans include the construction of its second gold mine at Namoya, at the south end of this gold belt, as well as the development of two other projects, Lugushwa and Kamituga, in the central portion of the belt. The initial focus of the Company is on oxides, which attract a lower technical and financial risk to the Company and will also maximize cash flows in order to develop the belt with minimal further dilution to shareholders. All business activities are followed in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
For further information, please visit our website at www.banro.com.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors