Banro Reports Highly Promising Results From Initial Exploration Of The Kaziba Discovery At Its Wholly-Owned Twangiza Gold Project
workings of up to 30.7 g/t Au., and rock chip samples from outcropping mineralization
elsewhere in area grading up to 69.3 g/t Au.
Toronto, Canada - May 4, 2009 - Banro Corporation (“Banro” or the “Company”) (NYSE AMEX - “BAA”; TSX - “BAA”) is pleased to announce results of the first phase of exploration at the newly-discovered Kaziba Prospect, located on Banro’s wholly-owned Twangiza project on the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the “DRC”). This work has included geological mapping, soil sampling, and rock chip sampling of artisanal workings and outcrops.
The Kaziba Prospect (Figure 1, http://www.banro.com/i/pdf/2009-05-04_NRM.pdf), which has a current strike length of 1,500 metres, is located 11 km east of the Twangiza Main and Twangiza North deposits, where Banro has defined a Measured Mineral Resource of 1,320,000 ounces of gold (17,200,000 tonnes grading 2.4 g/t Au.), an Indicated Mineral Resource of 4,280,000 ounces of gold (90,300,000 tonnes grading 1.5 g/t Au) and an Inferred Mineral Resource of 400,000 ounces of gold (8,200,000 tonnes grading 1.7 g/t Au). The Company published the results of its Twangiza Feasibility Study in a press release dated January 26, 2009.
Gold mineralization at Kaziba is hosted by weakly metamorphosed pelitic sediments, which have been folded into a series of north-south trending anticlines and synclines, with moderately dipping limbs and a northerly plunge of about 26°. Gold mineralization in the vicinity of the artisanal workings is associated with oxidized disseminated sulphides and oxidixed sulphidic veins (i.e. similar in style to the Twangiza Main deposit) over a strike distance of about 250 metres. Elsewhere in the prospect area, gold mineralization is associated with massive quartz veins several metres across and with narrower sheeted vein sets parallel to bedding.
A soil sampling grid was established over an area of 900 metres by 2,000 metres, centred on the mineralization exposed by artisanal miners. A total of 573 samples were taken at intervals of 40 metres on 80 metre-spaced lines, at a depth of 60 cm. Using a threshold of 60 ppb Au, several anomalies are defined, with gold values up to 1,000 ppb (Figure 2, http://www.banro.com/i/pdf/2009-05-04_NRM.pdf).
62 rock chip samples were collected from the workings with 39% of these returning values of between 0.5 g/t Au and 30.7 g/t Au. Elsewhere in the gridded area, rock chip samples from outcrop graded up to 14.6 g/t Au, while values of up to 69.3 g/t Au were returned from a quartz vein to the west of the current grid (Figure 2, http://www.banro.com/i/pdf/2009-05-04_NRM.pdf).
Exploration on the Kaziba Prospect is continuing by means of western and northern extensions of the geochemical grid, systematic channel sampling of workings and auger drilling of soil anomalies with the objective of sampling the weathered bedrock. The Company plans a diamond drilling program at the Kaziba Prospect following completion of this initial exploration work.
The Twangiza project is located 45 kilometres south-southwest of the major city of Bukavu in South Kivu Province, DRC, and consists of six mining permits covering 1,164 square kilometres. Having completed a Feasibility Study at Twangiza, the Company’s current focus at the project is on proving up additional ounces in the oxide and transitional categories on the three neighbouring targets of Kaziba, Mufwa and Tshondo, which are all within trucking distance of the proposed Twangiza plant site. The Company plans to further enhance the project economics as reported in the Feasibility Study by completing additional metallurgical test work and reassessing input costs in light of lower global building and energy costs.
Commenting on the results from the Kaziba Prospect, Mike Prinsloo, President and C.E.O. of the Company, said: “The early-stage results at Kaziba are very encouraging and provide further evidence of the considerable prospectivity within the Twangiza property. Each of the three new prospects at Twangiza - Kaziba, Mufwa and Tshondo - has excellent potential to add significant upside to the current Twangiza resource. Exploration is also continuing on the immediate west limb of the Twangiza Main deposit following encouraging results from rock-chip and channel sampling.”
All soil and rock samples were placed in sealed bags and sent to the Company’s sample preparation facility in Bukavu, DRC. The rock samples were then crushed down to minus 2 mm and split with half of the sample pulverised down to 90% passing 75 microns. The soil samples were sieved to minus 2 mm and the undersized fraction pulverised down to 90% passing 75 microns. Approximately 150 grams of the pulverised sample was then shipped to the SGS Laboratory (which is independent of the Company) in Mwanza, Tanzania where the samples were analysed for gold by fire assay using a 50g charge. As part of the Company’s QA/QC procedures, internationally recognised standards, duplicates and blanks were inserted into the sample batches.
Additional information with respect to the Twangiza project is contained in the technical report of SENET, dated February 27, 2009 and entitled “Updated Resource Statement & Feasibility Study NI 43-101 Technical Report, Twangiza Gold Project, South Kivu Province, Democratic Republic of Congo”. A copy of this report can be obtained from SEDAR at www.sedar.com.
Banro is a Canadian-based gold exploration company focused on the development of four major, wholly-owned gold projects, each with mining licenses, along the 210 kilometre-long Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the South Kivu and Maniema provinces of the DRC. Led by a proven management team with extensive gold and African experience, Banro’s strategy is to unlock shareholder value by increasing and developing its significant gold assets in a socially and environmentally responsible manner.
The exploration results disclosed by this press release have been reviewed, verified (including sampling, analytical and test data) and compiled by the Company’s geological staff based in Bukavu, DRC, under the supervision of Daniel K. Bansah who is a Chartered Professional and Member of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (Aus.I.M.M), the Company’s Vice President, Exploration and a “qualified person” (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101).
Martin Pittuck, an employee of SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd., was the “qualified person” (as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101) responsible for the current Mineral Resource estimates for the Twangiza project.
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors: The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the “SEC”) permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically and legally extract or produce. Certain terms are used by the Company, such as “measured”, “indicated”, and “inferred” “resources”, that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies from including in their filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are urged to consider closely the disclosure in the Company’s Form 40-F Registration Statement, File No. 001-32399, which may be secured from the Company, or from the SEC’s website at http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.
Forward-Looking Statements: This press release contains forward-looking statements. All statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without limitation, statements regarding the estimation of mineral resources, exploration results, potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and the Company’s exploration and development plans) are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from those discussed in the forward-looking statements, and even if such actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or events to differ materially from current expectations include, among other things, uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future, failure to establish estimated mineral resources (the Company’s mineral resource figures are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of gold will be produced), the possibility that future exploration results will not be consistent with the Company’s expectations, gold recoveries being less than those indicated by the metallurgical testwork carried out to date (there can be no assurance that gold recoveries in small scale laboratory tests will be duplicated in large tests under on-site conditions or during production), changes in world gold markets and equity markets, political developments in the DRC, fluctuations in currency exchange rates, inflation, changes to regulations affecting the Company’s activities, the uncertainties involved in interpreting drilling results and other geological data and the other risks disclosed under the heading “Risk Factors” and elsewhere in the Company’s annual information form dated March 30, 2009 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com and on EDGAR at www.sec.gov.. Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws, the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein.
For further information, please visit our website at www.banro.com, or contact: Mike Prinsloo, President and C.E.O., South Africa, Tel: +27 (0) 11 958 2885; Arnold T. Kondrat, Executive Vice-President, Toronto, Ontario, or Martin Jones, Vice-President, Corporate Development, Toronto, Ontario, Tel: (416) 366-2221 or 1-800-714-7938.