Banro Declares Commercial Production at Twangiza Gold Mine and Provides Update on Development at Namoya, Democratic Republic of the Congo


- Twangiza reaches commercial production as of September 1, 2012

- Plant expansion planning for Twangiza commenced in Q3, 2012

- Namoya development on schedule for mid-2013 start-up


Symbol Price Change
BAA.TO 4.34 0.00

TORONTO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire -08/29/12)- Banro Corporation ("Banro" or the "Company") (BAA.TO)(BAA) is pleased to declare that its Twangiza gold mine, Banro's first gold mine along the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo ("DRC"), has reached commercial production and the Company will begin reporting revenue as of September 1, 2012.

"Achieving commercial production is Banro's most significant milestone to date and one for which our board, management, and staff can proudly take credit," commented Banro President & CEO Simon Village. "We have succeeded in establishing our first gold production unit in an area which, only three years ago, had virtually no passable roads, no power, no workable infrastructure and no skilled mining labour. It is this flagship mine and the in-county skills we have established that will secure the development of this gold belt. In addition to creating a mine in a remote part of the DR Congo, Banro has worked closely with its communities to deliver potable water, schools, clinics, direct and indirect employment, and prospects for a better future. We are both proud and humbled by these accomplishments. We will continue to drive for optimizations at Twangiza that lead to productivity improvements, and the potential to produce at a rate above the 10,000 ounce per month target will be vigorously pursued, whilst we continue the tightly-scheduled development of the Namoya gold mine. We will also support our exploration program to expand resources along the belt, and remain committed to our oxide strategy, which we believe is the most effective path to developing the belt and delivering maximum returns to our shareholders through optimal capital development, which will lead to low cash costs per ounce."

Following the re-commissioning of Ball Mill 1 and the primary crusher, and the imminent commissioning of the secondary and tertiary crushing circuits, Banro anticipates production will initially be in the order of 8,000 ounces per month at Twangiza. In addition, planning towards a substantial plant upgrade, aiming at throughputs of up to 2 million tonnes per annum and gold production above the 10,000 ounces per month target, is underway. The US$10 - US$12 million cost of this upgrade has been factored into Banro's capital expenditure program for the next 12 months and will include the installation of a larger mineral sizer/primary crusher to increase front end capacity, the installation of a second elution circuit and gold room, and additional Carbon-in-Leach (CIL) tanks will be installed to provide appropriate leach residence time at increased throughputs, thereby maintaining planned gold recoveries at the back end, which will enable higher throughputs without compromising gold recovery rates. These modifications are aimed at achieving the step up from the plant's nominal 1.3 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) throughput to the target 2 mtpa through one expansion, rather than increasing throughput incrementally via a number of expansions as was originally envisaged. Other minor modifications will also be made over the course of the next six to 12 months in support of this upgrade. Cost containment and cost reduction measures have been and will continue to be a priority for all Banro operations to mitigate the rising costs of fuel, reagents and labour as experienced throughout the industry today.