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Gold Mining in Congo

                                                       

The Democratic Republic of the Congo (abbreviated DR Congo or DRC), previously known as Zaire, is immensely rich in natural resources. However, mining activities have been closely linked to serious problems in the DRC. The Gold Mining in the Democratic Republic of Congo is set to restart after almost 50 years. Gold was first discovered at Namoya in 1931 and production from alluvial operations continued through to 1947. Congowas the world’s fifth-largest gold producer in the 1960s untilcivil disturbance,resulted in operations being closed and expatriates leaving the country.

 

Banro Corp. (BAA), a Toronto-based gold producer, is currently developing four gold properties comprising of 13 Exploitation Permits, with mining licenses, in the South Kivu and Maniema Provinces of the DRC. These properties, totalling 2,616 square kilometres, occur along the 210 km Twangiza-Namoya gold belt. These permits cover all the major, historical producing areas of Twangiza, Lugushwa, Namoya and Kamituga where approximately 2.4 million ounces of gold were reportedly produced in the past from alluvial and hard rock sources.

 

Banro’s Twangiza mine, in the eastern province of South Kivu where rebel groups operate, is the first new gold mining project in Congo for more than half a century, the first new gold operation in Congo since independence from Belgium in 1960. The Twangiza gold deposit was discovered by Miniere des Grande Lac (MGL) in the 1950s. The company followed the occurrence of alluvial gold deposits upstream from the Mwana River to the present-day Twangiza deposit. In 1996, Banro acquired control of the Twangiza property. Twangiza, high in the hills of eastern Congo, is the first of four mines the company plans to open on a 200 km gold belt and is the most advanced of Banro's four projects, with a growing deposit that currently comprises measured and indicated resources of 5.60 million ounces of gold and inferred resources of 400,000 ounces.Twangiza Project is believed as having at least an eight year mine life.Banro’s Twangiza started operations in October 2011 and is estimated to produce 120,000 ounces in its first full year of production

 

AngloGold, the world’s third- largest producer, and Randgold Resources aims to produce first gold from its Kibali project in the remote northeast of Democratic Republic of Congo in July 2013. The site reportedly has 13.93-million ounces of measured and indicated gold.  Randgold's Kibali project, in Orientale Province, is a joint venture between Randgold and AngloGold Ashanti, which have 45% share each, and state-owned gold company OKIMO... The Kibali gold project is located in a remote corner of DR Congo, close to the Ugandan border. Production is scheduled to start at the end of next year and could average 600,000 ounces a year

 

In 2011, at least twenty-five international mining companies were active in the D.R. Congo according to Datamonitor 360. Canadian-domiciled mining companies had the highest presence, with nine in total: African Metals Corporation, Banro Resources Corporation, BRC DiamondCore, El Niño Ventures Inc., First Quantum Minerals, ICS Copper Systems Ltd., Lundin Mining Corp., as well as Anvil Mining Ltd., misidentified as Australian, and Katanga Mining Ltd, misidentified as British. By comparison, six firms were incorporated in Australia (Austral Africa Resources Ltd., BHP Billiton Group, Green Machine Development Corporation, Lindian Resources Ltd., Mawson West Ltd., Tiger Resources Ltd.), three in South Africa (African Rainbow Minerals, AngloGold Ashanti, Chrometco Ltd.), two in the United Kingdom (Mwana Africa PLC, Randgold Resources Ltd.), two from the United States (Century Aluminum Co., Freeport-McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc.), and one each from China (CIC Mining Resources Ltd., with Japanese Eco Energy Group's African subsidiary, Eco Project Company Ltd.), Morocco (Managem SA), and Switzerland (Xstrata plc).

 

DR Congo is estimated to have $24 trillion (equivalent to the combined Gross Domestic Product of Europe and the United States) worth of untapped deposits of raw mineral ores, including the world’s largest reserves of cobalt and significant quantities of the world’s diamonds, gold and copper, much of which remains untapped. Gold’s advance over the past decade has made taking on projects in such higher-risk countries worthwhile.

 

 

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