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. Congo was the world’s fifth-largest gold producer in the 1960s until civil disturbance, due to the DRC’s newly achieved independence from Belgium in 1960, and resulted in operations being closed and expatriates leaving the country. The gold mines were mainly occupied by artisanal miners from the 1990s when a lack of investment saw the industry collapse. Invasion from eastern neighbors Uganda and Rwanda resulted in military groups seizing control of many of the operations around the same time.
Banro, 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, totaling 2,616 square kilometers, 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 started the Twangiza mine last year, 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 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 could 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. To develop it, Randgold has had to build a 180km (112-mile) road eastwards to Uganda. The region is near an area where Ugandan rebel group the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) has operated, but the company says the local police and security forces have ensured the project can go ahead. Production is scheduled to start at the end of next year and could average 600,000 ounces a year
The country has huge mineral resources, much of which remains untapped. Gold’s advance over the past decade has made taking on projects in such higher-risk countries worthwhile. The metal gained for each of the past 11 years, climbing to a record $1,921.15 an ounce last year.