In February 2011, Banro established its first exploration camp at Kamituga and began exploration of this high potential project, which has a long history of significant gold production.
Kamituga is located 100 kilometres southwest of Bukavu and consists of three PEs covering an area of 649 square kilometres. Of Banro's four major properties, Kamituga has the longest history of substantial previous alluvial and underground mining operations. Kamituga has an Inferred resource (surface) of 4.14 million tonnes grading 2.40g/t Au and containing 32,000 ounces of gold and an Inferred (underground) resource of 3.12 million tonnes grading 6.00g/t Au containing 600,000 ounces of gold.
Gold was first reported in the Kamituga region during the early 1920s with the discovery of alluvial gold in the Luliaba, Mobale, Kahushimira, Kamakundu and Idoka rivers. Commercial alluvial mining commenced in 1924. Exploration during the 1930s led to the discovery of numerous high grade quartz veins, with hard rock mining commencing in 1937 at the Mobale underground operation. During the period of active mining at Kamituga, 29 gold nuggets weighing over 1 kg each were found in alluvial gravels. At the closure of the Kamituga operations in 1996, approximately 1.5 million ounces of gold had been produced from alluvial and hard rock mining.
Primary gold mineralization at Kamituga is hosted within high grade, shallow dipping, sheeted quartz veins and stockworks in sericite schists and amphibolites. Banro's independent geological consultant, Steffen, Robertson and Kirsten (UK) Ltd. (SRK), noted in its February 2005 technical report: "...there is much evidence to support the wide scale occurrence of gold mineralization. Most of the work to date has been confined to the area surrounding the Mobale Mine and very little appears to have been conducted throughout the remaining area of the concession."
Early exploration in 2011 and 2012 consisted of reviewing and assessing the historical data, stream sediment sampling, gridding, geological mapping, soil, trench, adit sampling, and auger drilling. In addition, a "desktop analysis" of the property has examined historical geological data and the results of LIDAR, aeromagnetic and radiometric surveys of the property conducted in 2007.
Later exploration activities have focused on regional targets located outside the old mine workings to identify additional zones of oxide mineralization; and on the bulk tonnage potential in the vicinity of the Little Mobale open pit, where disseminated sulphide wall rock mineralization may have been neglected in the past when the mining focus was on high grade quartz veins and stockworks.
The 2016 - 2017 exploration program is ongoing, but limited as the Company directs it energy and resources to Twangiza and Namoya. Its current focus is on new oxide target generation activities towards the south west and north western parts of the project using low cost auger drilling, surface mapping and regional BLEG sampling.