Gold miner plans 24-MW hydro plant as part of Congo mine site

Australia-based Moto Goldmines Ltd. reports positive results from a feasibility study of the Moto Gold Project, a proposed mine site including a 24-MW hydroelectric project in northeastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

Based on study results, Moto Goldmines said December 14 it will determine the best way to proceed on long-term exploitation with its joint venture partners, state-owned L’Office des Mines d’Or de Kilo-Moto, Border Energy Pty Ltd., and Orgaman sprl.

The feasibility study was completed by Lycopodium Engineering Pty Ltd. and Cube Consulting Pty Ltd., the principal engineering and geological consultants, based on a plant producing 3.5 million to 4 million tons of gold per year by open pit mining activities.

Capital and infrastructure cost estimates total US$483 million including an US$80 million hydroelectric project.

Moto Goldmines said consultant Knight Piesold performed the hydropower assessment and design. The 24-MW run-of-river plant was found to be feasible to provide 86 percent of the gold operation’s power requirements. The feasibility study assumes the necessary approvals and permits for the hydro plant will be obtained. Diesel generators are to supplement the hydro plant during dry seasons.

“It is proposed that all development activities will conform to internationally accepted standards with project development focusing on sustainability including the empowerment of local communities and business,” a company statement said.

The Moto Gold Project covers 2,350 square kilometers in northeastern DRC, 560 kilometers northeast of Kisangani.

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