The Moto greenstone belt, north-eastern Congo, which consists of Archaean rocks of the Lower Kibalian System host the important gold mineralization. The Moto greenstone belt is bounded to the north by the Archaean West Nile Gneiss complex and to the south by the (younger) Upper Zaire granitic complex.
The Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, eastern Congo, is located in Proterozoic and Archean age rocks in the northern half of the Great Lakes sub-province.
- Moto Gold Mines Ltd (Australian) is exploring the Kilo Moto goldfield in Ituri Province. The project includes the following prospects: Pakaka and Pamao, Gorumbwa, Kibali, Durba – Karagba, Megi – Mengu, Ndala, Kombokolo, Agbarabo - Tete Bakangwe. The resource estimate is an indicated 55,40 million tonnes at 2,9 g/t Au for a total of 5,076 million oz gold and 88,63 million tonnes at 3,8 g/t Au for 10,794 million oz of inferred resources of gold. Moto risks having its mining permits cancelled after Okimo, the state-owned gold mining company, accused the company of failing to meet contracts, reported Reuters. Moto's Congolese unit had 90 days to honor contracts with Okimo, or it may have its mining leases revoked or reviewed, the newswire said on 26 January 2007, citing Okimo CEO Victor Kasongo. In terms of the contracts, Moto had committed to repair mining infrastructure and conduct geological surveys in return for a 60% stake in mineral concessions. A feasibility study, released in December, 2007, evaluated the gold project's Indicated Mineral Resources of 77.8 million tons at 2.8 g/t Au for 7.0 million oz, but did not take into account an additional Inferred Mineral Resource base of 98.9 million tons at 3.8 g/t Au for 12.1 million oz, which it says has a conversion rate of close to 100% within key deposits.
Moto is planning a US$483-million mine, which includes an US$80-million hydroelectric power station, US$78-million for initial mining fleets and an additional US$47-million construction contingency.
It would be a 3.3 million oz opencast gold mine with a life of 8.5 years, and the six-pit mine is expected to produce 400,000 oz of gold a year. Moto Goldmines reported a 47% increase in Indicated Mineral Resources at the Moto Gold Project in February,2008. Global Mineral Resources for the Project, above a 1.0 g/t Au reporting cut-off, are now estimated to be: Indicated Mineral Resources 95.3 million t @ 3.4 g/t for 10.3 million oz Au Inferred Mineral Resources 96.5 Mt @ 3.6 g/t for 11.3 million oz Au.
- Country Accuses Canadian Mining Firm of 'Cheating'
The East African (Nairobi)
- Banro Corporation (Canadian, AMEX:BAA; TSX:BAA) is exploring the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the South Kivu and Maniema Provinces of the DRC. The project includes the following prospects: Twangiza, Lugushwa, Namoya and Kamituga. The current resource estimate is 2,72 million oz of measured and indicated resources, plus inferred resources of 8,11 million oz of gold at 1 g/t Au cut-off. According to sources at the Denver Gold Forum in September, 2007, the TSX and AMEX-listed company has retained Canadian investment bank RBC Capital Markets to run a bidding and due diligence process; apparently with the view of selling the company. The two most advanced projects are Twangiza and Namoya. Prefeasibility studies on both would be completed in the first quarter of 2008 and bankable feasibility studies would be done by the third quarter of 2008.
Twangiza currently has a total resource estimated at 6.24 million oz of gold. Planning at this stage is for a mine producing 300,000 oz/year over a life of about 13 years at an average cost of $275/oz over the life-of-mine. Namoya is a much smaller deposit with a resource of 1.35 million oz at this stage and forecast average costs of $235/oz over the anticipated life-of-mine. In January, 2008, the inferred mineral resource stood at 2 705 000 oz of gold at a grade of 1,82 g/t. Total mineral resources at the Twangiza North deposit have increased and currently consist of an indicated mineral resource of 700 000 oz of gold with a grade of 2,97 g/t, and an inferred mineral resource of 490 000 oz of gold with a grade of 2,40 g/t.
The infill drilling programme at the Twangiza North discovery rapidly converted the previous inferred resource into indicated as well as increasing the total mineral resources at this deposit.
- Gold Fields (South African, NYSE:GFI; JSE:GFIELDS) is doing early stage exploration on the Kisenge Project, Katanga Province in the southern Democratic Republic of the Congo, some 680 kilometres from the main city of Lubumbashi.
- Elemental Minerals Ltd is to acquire a 60 per cent interest in the Musefu gold project in the southern part of the Democratic Republic of Congo near the border with Angola. Gold was discovered there in 1920 and mining began by Belgian interests in 1932. Records kept until 1958 show that total production was 80,385 oz but no exploration work has been done at Musefu for more than 50 years. Historic drilling at one prospect shows intersections including 12,5 m at 7,51 g/t gold and 5 m at 16,09 g/t.
- Wa Balengela Kasai-Investments Congo (WBK), a Congolese mineral exploration and exploitation company, has filed litigation to validate its Memorandum of Understanding to establish a joint exploration venture with La Quinta Resources Corporation, (LAQ.V),which has been thrown into doubt by claims by Banro Corporation’s Congolese subsidiary. La Quinta announced that WBK has commenced an action in a commercial court in the Democratic Republic of Congo, to clear claims by Banro Congo, that Banro signed an earlier agreement concerning WBK's claimed concessions in Maniema and South Kivu Provinces in south eastern DRC.
The court proceedings seek to block Banro Congo from exploring the concessions as well as compelling the company to pay damages and costs for interference.
The disputed area has 32 exploration licences held by WBK, totalling 7,010 square kilometres, located adjacent and between Banro’s Lugushwa and Namoya properties in the south of the Twangiza-Namoya gold belt, which extend 120 kilometres to the west.
WBK holds extensive mineral leases in the DRC, and has numerous diamond exploration agreements. It has also been instrumental in introducing other companies into the DRC for copper and cobalt exploration. In March, 2007, Banro issued the following statement:
At least six previous mining sites can be easily identified, and artisanal mining continues on much of the target areas today.
- La Quinta Resources Corporation (LAQ.V) has announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with AMIKI (Association Miniere du Kivu sprl) to lease, or acquire all of the Exploration and Exploitation rights of AMIKI on the Kampene Project in South Kivu Province in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The Kampene project covers 49 square Kilometers and includes an Exploration Licence and a Small Miner's Licence to mine and sell all mineral products from the Licence area including Gold, Silver, Coltan, (Columbite and Tantalite) and Cassiterite. Kampene has a long history of extensive mineral production dating back to the 1940's and the Belgian era, when mineral production for Gold, Cassiterite and Coltan formed the economic basis for the formation of the Town of Kampene, complete with its power plant, airstrip, schools churches and hospital. Since the Belgians left, production of gold has continued, first for the Congolese government during the Mobutu era and subsequently by the Rwandan Army during the second war of Liberation. AMIKI have held these claims since 1981 and reclaimed the property after the United Nations supported 2003 Peace Accord. Following the democratic election of 2006 and subsequent revision of the Congolese Mining Laws AMIKI has now been able to convert the licences to a modern Permis d'exploitation number 235 including a Small Miners Exploitation licence allowing immediate production from the site.
The Kampene Project lies adjacent to a 7,000 square kilometre licence area for gold exploration covering the southern portion of the Twangiza - Namoya Gold Belt, owned by Wa Balengela Kasai-Investments Congo sprl, (WBK) which is the subject of a separate Agreement between LAQ and WBK and is currently in a due diligence process.
- Mwana Africa plc has a joint venture agreement (80%) with Office des Mines d’Or de Kilomoto (Okimo) over an exploration property in the north-east of the DRC. The joint venture was signed in June 2005. The 3,000 square kilometres project area is a 100 km long belt running from Kilomines, adjacent to AngloGold Ashanti to the south, the Government’s Kilo Moto holdings to the north and to the east of ground held by Gold Fields. It is also located around the Zani-Kodo gold mine. Zani project started before independence and reached total production of 572,000 tonnes at 6,5 g/t, but was abandoned due to unrest in 1964 during the civil war. Zani’s mineralized zone at the surface is 500m long and up to 30m wide, it consists of silicification in sheared greenstone with gold contained in sulphides. At the time of closure Zani’s sulphide reserve was 352,000 tonnes at 8,15 g/t.
- AngloGold Ashanti (South Africa, NYSE:AU; JSE:ANG) is exploring the Mongbwalu project, a 10 by 15 km block, in the northeast. An inferred resource of two-million ounces to three-million oz has been estimated and an airborne geophysical survey to define additional regional drill targets was planned for 2007, in addition to 70 000 m of drilling.