Banro's Preliminary Economic Assessment Of Namoya Gold Project Indicates Annual Production Of 194,000 Ounces At Average Cash Costs Of Us$217 Per Ounce During First 5 Years Of Operations

July 3rd, 2007





TORONTO, July 3, 2007 - Banro Corporation (“Banro” or the “Company”) (AMEX - “BAA”; TSX - “BAA”) is pleased to announce completion of its Preliminary Economic Assessment of its wholly-owned Namoya project, located on the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the Democratic Republic of Congo (the “DRC”).

Highlights include

• Average annual production of 194,000 ounces of gold per annum during initial 5 years of operations (average 165,000 ounces of gold per annum over the currently defined 8 year mine life).
• Operating total cash costs of US$217 per ounce for the initial 5 year mine life (average US$238 per ounce over 8 year mine life).
• Project post tax net present value (“NPV”) of US$204 million based on a 5% discount rate and a gold price of US$600 per ounce.
• Project post tax internal rate of return (“IRR”) of 37%, with a 2.3 year payback on project capital expenditures from the start of production.
• Project net cash flow after tax and capital spending of US$290 million.


The Preliminary Economic Assessment has been prepared with input from a number of independent consultants including SRK Consulting, Cardiff (mining and environmental), SGS Lakefield, Johannesburg (metallurgical testwork), Knight Piésold Ltd., Vancouver (power) and SENET, Johannesburg (processing and infrastructure). SENET also undertook the preliminary economic valuation and report compilation.

“The results of this Preliminary Economic Assessment, which highlight the robust economics of our Namoya project, are very encouraging,” said Peter Cowley, Banro’s President and CEO. “Namoya has the potential to generate significant cash flow based on its projected low cash operating costs. Our focus now is on further improving Namoya’s economics by expanding the resource base, completing feasibility studies and moving Namoya along the development path and up the value curve.

“We are also finalizing the scoping study on our larger Twangiza project, which should be completed later this month.”

Cautionary Statement:
The Preliminary Economic Assessment is preliminary in nature and includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have the economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves. There is no certainty that the conclusions reached in the Preliminary Economic Assessment will be realized.
Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability.


Namoya Project Overview
The Namoya project, which is 100% wholly-owned by Banro, is situated at the south-western end of the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in Maniema Province of the eastern DRC and covers an area of 174 square kilometres. Exploration commenced in December 2004 and to date, 106 diamond drill holes have been completed together with extensive re-sampling of old mine adits along the 2.5 kilometre long, northwest trending mineralized zone which hosts the four main deposits of Mwendamboko, Kakula, Namoya Summit and Muviringu. Exploration is continuing to assess a number of other prospects on the Namoya project.

Mineral Resources
The Namoya project’s attributed Mineral Resources (which are set out in the following table) have been derived from resource drilling and assays received before June 2007 and are as reported in the Company’s press release dated June 8, 2007. These Mineral Resource estimates were prepared in accordance with National Instrument 43-101 based on information compiled by Banro’s Mineral Resources Manager, Daniel Bansah, who is a “qualified person” as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101.

Namoya Mineral Resources

 

Indicated

 

Inferred

 

Tonnes

Au (g/t)

Ounces

 

Tonnes

Au
(g/t)

Ounces

Oxide

6,409,000

3.07

632,300

 

1,407,000

2.06

93,100

Transitional

2,152,000

3.50

242,100

 

2,040,000

2.22

145,800

Fresh rock

364,000

5.50

64,400

 

3,627,000

3.28

382,600

Total

8,925,000

3.27

938,800

 

7,074,000

2.73

621,500

(Using a 1.0 g/t Au cut-off).



Mine Plan
SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd. (Cardiff office) undertook a mine plan based on Banro’s Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources delineated to date. Pit optimizations were undertaken on the four principal deposits at Namoya based on the following parameters:

Gold price: …………………..US$600 per ounce
Diesel fuel price: ……………US$0.91/litre
Mining dilution: ………………5% at zero grade
Mining recovery: ……………95%
Pit slopes: ……………………minus 40 to 50 degrees
Metallurgical recovery: ……..oxides (93.6%), transitional (91.8%), fresh rock (91.4%)

The following Mineral Resources were estimated to be contained in an engineered pit design, optimum for the hydroelectric power alternative:

Namoya Open Pit Mineral Resources

 

Tonnes

Au
(g/t)

Ounces

Strip Ratio

Oxide

7,653,000

2.85

701,000

 

Transitional

2,854,000

3.08

283,000

 

Fresh Rock

502,000

3.36

54,000

 

Total

11,009,000

2.93

1,038,000

5.6



Economic open pit cut-off grades are estimated at 0.83 g/t Au for oxide, 0.95 g/t Au for the transitional and 1.09 g/t Au for the fresh rock ores.


In addition, the topography at Namoya is favourable for underground mining below the open pits. A Mineral Resource of 3,000,000 tonnes grading 3.54 g/t Au (equivalent to 341,400 ounces of gold) was estimated to be contained in underground stoping designs below the open pits.

Preliminary pit optimization studies were also determined for a diesel fuelled power alternative and resulted in estimated open pit mineable resources of 8,970,000 tonnes grading 3.28 g/t Au (equivalent to 947,000 ounces of gold) together with estimated underground mineable resources of 3,000,000 tonnes grading 3.54 g/t Au (equivalent to 341,400 ounces of gold ).

The mine schedule proposes the sequential mining of oxides, transitional and fresh rock ores from the open pits followed by underground mining. Underground mining of 1.0 million tonnes per annum (“Mtpa”) of fresh rock is proposed to be extracted via a decline and existing adit using an open stoping mining method. Low grade stockpiles will also be processed during the mining and processing of the underground ores.

Processing
Metallurgical testwork, including recovery and comminution studies, has been completed for the oxide, transitional and fresh rock (sulphide) ore categories by SGS Lakefield in Johannesburg. These results indicated that excellent metallurgical recoveries, averaging 93.6% for oxides, 93% for the transitional and 92.6% for the fresh rock, could be achieved for the low to medium competency ores. Based on this testwork, SENET of Johannesburg scoped a conventional Gravity-CIL (carbon-in-leach) processing facility with annual throughput of 2.5 Mtpa for oxides, 2.0 Mtpa for transitional and 1.5 Mtpa of fresh rock and low grade stockpiles, resulting in a currently defined mine life of eight years.

Power
Studies have been undertaken using hydroelectric and diesel power sources for the project. Although capital costs are higher for the hydroelectric alternative, operating costs and subsequent project economics are better than a diesel powered generation alternative. Back up diesel power for essential processing plant equipment has been included in the project’s capital cost. Knight Piésold Ltd. of Vancouver undertook studies on a number of potential hydroelectric sites along the Twangiza-Namoya belt. Follow-up site investigations including the installation of flow gauges and detailed hydrology studies are ongoing. The hydroelectric power scheme also has the potential to obtain carbon credits that could reduce capital costs for this power alternative.

Capital Costs and Infrastructure
The following table summarizes expected capital costs for the Namoya project estimated by the independent consultants and include preliminary discussions with equipment providers, and also knowledge gained from current projects in Africa.

Costs currently assume an owner operated mining fleet. Additionally, an assumption is made that a dedicated hydro-electric facility would be developed by Banro utilizing one of the sites selected by the Company’s consultant hydrologist, Knight Piésold Ltd.

Namoya Project Capital Costs


Mining

US$ million

Plant & Equipment

29.91

Haul Roads

1.81

Prestrip

5.99

Other

1.25

 

 

Process Plant

 

Earthworks and Civil

6.43

Mechanical, Structural & Piping

27.56

Electrical & Instrumentation

3.91

Tailings Dam

3.00

Other

9.26

 

 

Infrastructure

 

Power Plant (hydro electric power)

31.77

Buildings and Accommodation Facilities

5.29

Access Roads

7.09

Vehicles and Mobile Plant

2.12

   Other

7.56

 

 

Owner’s Costs

4.24

 

 

Other (EPCM, transport, working capital)

18.18

 

 

Contingency

21.18

 

 

Total Project Initial Capital Costs

186.55

 

 

Ongoing Capital

27.48

 

 



Operating Costs
The following operating costs were estimated and incorporated into the financial analysis:

Open Pit Total Operating Costs

  

Ore Tonne

Ore Tonne

 

(US$/tonne)

(US$/ounce)

Mining

10.25

116.38

Processing

5.45

61.92

G & A

3.24

36.74

Refining

0.18

2.07

Total

19.12

217.11

Life of Mine Total Operating Costs

 

Ore Tonne

Ore Tonne

 

(US$/tonne)

(US$/ounce)

Mining

10.19

119.73

Processing

6.23

73.26

G & A

3.68

43.18

Refining

0.18

2.07

Total

20.36

238.24



The estimated total open pit mine operating cost of US$10.25 per tonne of ore is equivalent to US$1.28 per tonne of material moved. The preliminary underground mining study estimated underground mining costs of US$15.49 per tonne of ore.

Project Economics and Financial Analysis

SENET has produced a cash flow valuation model for the Namoya project based upon the geological and engineering work completed to date and incorporating the hydroelectric power source. The financial model also reflects the favourable fiscal aspects of the Mining Convention governing the Namoya project, which include 100% equity interest and a 10 year tax holiday from the start of production. An administrative tax of 5% for the importation of plant, machinery and consumables has been included in the projected capital and operating costs. The Base Case was developed using a long-term gold price of US$600 per ounce.

Calculated sensitivities show the significant upside leverage to gold prices and robust nature of the projected economics to operating assumptions.

Gold Price Senstivities


Gold Price

IRR

 

NPV
(US$ M)

 

US$/oz

(%)

0%

5%

10%

550

30%

224

151

100

600

37%

290

204

142

650

45%

356

256

185

Other Senstivities


Capital Costs

 

 

 

 

+ 10%

32%

269

184

124

- 10%

44%

312

224

161

 

 

 

 

 

Operating Costs

 

 

 

 

+ 10%

34%

259

179

123

- 10%

40%

321

228

161



The above financial analysis does not take into account ongoing exploration, feasibility, financing or interest costs.

Project economics were also run for the diesel power alternative. This resulted in the following:

• Average annual production of 198,000 ounces of gold per annum during initial 5 years of operations (average 175,000 ounces of gold per annum over 7 year mine life).
• Operating cash costs of US$ 265/oz for the initial 5 years (average US$286/oz over 7 year mine life).
• Project NPV of US$145 million based on a 5% discount rate and gold price of US$600 per ounce.
• Project IRR of 41% with a 1.6 year payback on project capital expenditures from the start of production.
• Project net cash flow after tax and capital spending of US$197 million.

Accessibility and Transport
SENET has undertaken preliminary analysis of access routes to the Namoya project for plant and equipment as well as ongoing production materials and consumables. Access to site is available predominantly by rail from Dar es Salaam on the coast in Tanzania or via road from Mombassa in Kenya. The national road (N2) running from Bukavu to Kasongo will pass within approximately 30 km of the project. This road is currently being upgraded through a World Bank initiative.

Environmental and Social Aspects
SRK Consulting is implementing a pre-feasibility, environmental base line study at Namoya which will include ecological, hydrological and socio-economic assessments. There are a number of settlements in and around the mine project area that could provide labour for the operation.

Project Opportunities
Banro is actively pursuing a number of alternatives for enhancing and increasing the economics and financial returns relating to the Namoya project. These include delineating additional resources at Namoya within economic hauling distances and also targeting new near surface prospects that would allow deferral of underground mining to much later in the mine life.

The regional exploration potential is encouraging. The property was recently covered by a helicopter borne magnetic & radiometric survey, which is being analyzed and anomalies will be tested later in the year.

Development Timetable
Banro is currently working toward completion of a formal pre-feasibility study in the fall of 2007. This will largely involve the inclusion of a further resource update, pit optimization and engineering studies including the incorporation of further metallurgical and geotechnical investigations. Banro has also initiated baseline environmental studies.

It is expected that the pre-feasibility work will progress directly to a definitive, full feasibility study in the later part of 2007, with completion targeted for the second half of 2008. During this period, Banro will initiate discussions with potential project finance lenders, including both multilateral agencies and commercial banks.

Full details of the Preliminary Economic Assessment in the form of a National Instrument 43-101 technical report will be filed on SEDAR within the next 45 days.

Additional information with respect to the Namoya project is contained in the technical report of Michael B. Skead (who is the Company’s Vice President, Exploration and a “qualified person” as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101) dated March 30, 2007, and entitled “Third NI 43-101 Technical Report, Namoya Project, Maniema Province, Democratic Republic of the Congo.” A copy of this report can be obtained from SEDAR at www.sedar.com.

Qualified Person
The Preliminary Economic Assessment was prepared under the supervision of James Hollywood, Managing Director of SENET and a “qualified person”, as such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101. Mr. Hollywood has reviewed and approved the contents of this press release.

Banro is a Canadian-based gold exploration company focused on the development of four major, wholly-owned gold projects 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.

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.

Cautionary Note Concerning 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 estimates and/or assumptions in respect of production, revenue, cash flow and costs, estimated Namoya project economics, mineral resource estimates, potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and the Company’s exploration and development plans and objectives with respect to its Namoya project) 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: uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating costs, production estimates and estimated economic return; the possibility that actual circumstances will differ from the estimates and assumptions used in the Namoya Preliminary Economic Assessment and mine plan; failure to establish estimated mineral resources; fluctuations in gold prices and currency exchange rates; inflation; gold recoveries for Namoya 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 equity markets; political developments in the DRC; changes to regulations affecting the Company’s activities; uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of financing needed in the future; 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, 2007 filed on SEDAR at www.sedar.com. 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.

Cautionary Note Concerning Resource Estimates

The mineral resource figures referred to in this press release are estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of gold will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may significantly change when new information becomes available. While the Company believes that the resource estimates included in this press release are well established, by their nature resource estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could have a material adverse impact on the Company.

Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral resource as a result of continued exploration. Confidence in the estimate is insufficient to allow meaningful application of the technical and economic parameters to enable an evaluation of economic viability worthy of public disclosure, except in the case of the Preliminary Economic Assessment. Inferred mineral resources are excluded from estimates forming the basis of a feasibility study.


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For further information, please visit our website at www.banro.com, or contact: Peter Cowley, President and C.E.O., United Kingdom, Tel: (44) 790-454-0856; 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.
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