Twangiza Plant Optimization and Expansion
During the fourth quarter of 2012, work towards upgrading the metallurgical plant commenced, with the goal of improving plant availability, increasing plant throughput, and improving recoveries to approximately 90%. This will essentially entail replacing the existing primary, secondary and tertiary crushers, the building of four new CIL tanks to increase residence time, as well as the upgrading of inter-tank screens and piping, and the construction of a second elution circuit and gold room, all of which are expected to be completed by Q4 2013. It is currently estimated that the capital cost of this plant improvement will be approximately $12,000 in 2013, which is expected to improve plant capacity to 1.7Mtpa.
Sustaining Capital Activities
During the year ended December 31, 2012 and subsequently up to the date of this press release, the following progress was made in the key areas indicated below with respect to sustaining capital activities at the Twangiza Gold Mine:
As of the date of this press release, 230 households have been resettled at the Cinjira relocation site. It is expected that a further 19 households will be compensated and resettled during 2013.
-- Mine Infrastructure
A new fuel storage facility was completed and commissioned at the end of August 2012.
Previously, the maintenance of mobile equipment was conducted at a temporary mobile workshop located 8 kilometres downhill from the Twangiza Main open pit. Management decided to move this facility to a position immediately adjacent to Twangiza Main, thereby eliminating the 16 kilometre round trip to the previous workshop site, and this exercise was completed in November of 2012. In addition, the design of a new warehouse and a permanent mobile workshop were completed in September. These facilities are expected to be constructed and commissioned by the second half of 2013, resulting in a compact and fully integrated mining site.
-- Tailings Management Facility
Construction work associated with the front wall was halted during the dry season, leaving the height of the wall 5 metres below the planned two year elevation. In dry conditions, activity was switched to the downstream side of the wall, where excavation was focused on the removal of alluvial material (of good grade) and the placement of the sand and pipe under-drains to enable the extension of the wall toe to its five year position. This will considerably extend space for waste dumping as the dam wall effectively acts as the single waste dump for the operation. Work towards elevating the wall height recommenced in December 2012.
NAMOYA MINE DEVELOPMENT
The Namoya project consists of one exploitation permit covering an area of 172 square kilometres and is located in the Maniema Province in the east of the DRC, approximately 225 kilometres southwest of the town of Bukavu. The Company is currently developing an open-pit heap leach gold mine at Namoya with anticipated average annual production of 124,000 ounces of gold per annum over a seven year mine life. Pre-construction activities at Namoya began in the fourth quarter of 2011, followed by full mobilization of construction and development activities during 2012. Commissioning of the Namoya gold mine is planned to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2013.
Key Achievements in 2012 and 2013 Outlook
-- Mechanical & Other Equipment