UPDATE – Canada miner studies another hydro at second DRC gold site

Canadian gold miner Banro Corp. has completed a preliminary economic assessment of a second gold mining site, the Twangiza Gold Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), including a second proposed hydroelectric project.

Banro said July 30 it is assuming it would supply electricity to the Twangiza mine site, in eastern DRC’s South Kivu 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 Twangiza 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$54.84 million.

Smaller Namoya Gold Project, hydro site get similar marks

Banro President Peter Cowley said the preliminary economic assessment of Twangiza Gold Project is encouraging. The company made a similar evaluation earlier in July of the smaller Namoya Gold Project and its proposed hydropower project in eastern DRC’s Maniema Province. (HNN 7/16/07)

The company made similar assessments of both gold projects and their hydro plants. A company statement previously said the estimated capital cost for the hydro plant at the smaller Namoya Gold Project is US$31.77 million.

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

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

Formal pre-feasibility studies for both projects are expected to be complete in late 2007, followed by full feasibility studies 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: www.banro.com.

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