TORONTO, April 14 /PRNewswire/ - Banro Corporation (" Banro" or the " Company") (NYSE AMEX - "BAA" TSX - "BAA") is pleased to report that construction of its wholly-owned Twangiza Phase 1 gold project in South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo (the " DRC"), is proceeding on schedule with commercial production expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2011.
The Company's cash position of approximately US$94 million as at April 1, 2011 is approximately US$25 million more than the budgeted costs to complete the Twangiza Phase 1 oxide-processing plant, which costs include a US$13.5 million contingency within the total US$209 million capital expenditures budget. The balance of the funds will be used to cover overhead costs and working capital to fund the commissioning and production ramp- up, as well as the exploration program on the Company's four gold projects.
"The progress made by the team at Twangiza is excellent. The plant and civil works are 86% complete, with the total mine construction project, including tailings facilities, now 60% complete, and on schedule to deliver commercial gold production in the fourth quarter of 2011," commented Simon Village, Chairman and CEO.
"The cash-flow from the Twangiza Phase 1 project will be used to fast-track the second mine development project at Namoya, at the southern end of the gold belt, which we aim to have completed within the next two years. This will provide the Company with greater flexibility and cash-flow to internally finance the construction of the hydro-electric project which is needed for the much larger Twangiza Phase 2 project, and ultimately for development of the whole belt.In addition, we have recently commissioned an economic assessment of the Twangiza Phase 2 project which will include a detailed metallurgical study and plant design. The proposed stand-alone facility will concentrate solely on processing the transition and fresh rock and is expected to result in lower capital costs and better recoveries than initially estimated in our June 2009 Feasibility Study. We anticipate releasing the results of these preliminary studies in the third quarter of 2011." Banro is a Canadian-based gold exploration and development company focused on the development of four 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 DRC. Led by a proven management team with extensive gold and African experience, Banro is constructing "Phase 1" of its flagship Twangiza project.