Canada miner studies hydro project with DRC mine site

Canadian gold miner Banro Corp. has completed a preliminary economic assessment of its Namoya Gold Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) including a proposed hydroelectric project.

Banro said it currently is assuming it would supply electricity to the mine site, in eastern DRC’s Maniema Province, from a hydroelectric project to be built at one of several sites selected by its hydrologist consultant, Knight Piesold Ltd. of Canada.

�Studies have been undertaken using hydroelectric and diesel power sources for the project,� Banro said. �Although capital costs are higher for the hydroelectric alternative, operating costs and subsequent project economics are better than a diesel powered generation alternative.�

A company statement did not state the size of the hydro project, but did estimate capital costs for the plant at US$31.77 million.

Banro said follow-up site investigations including installation of flow gages, and detailed hydrology studies are ongoing. It said the hydro project also has potential to obtain carbon credits that could reduce capital costs.

Banro President Peter Cowley said the preliminary economic assessment of Namoya Gold Project is encouraging. The company also is finalizing a scoping study on a larger Twangiza project.

The company said mining and environmental consultant SRK Consulting is conducting a pre-feasibility, environmental baseline study at Namoya that will include ecological, hydrological, and socio-economic assessments.

A formal pre-feasibility study is expected to be complete in late 2007, followed by a full feasibility study to be completed in late 2008. During that time Banro plans to initiate discussions with potential project finance lenders.

For information, contact President Peter Cowley, Banro Corp., United Kingdom; (44) 790-4540856; Internet:

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