Canada gold miner, Banro Corporation, has temporarily suspended its operations at Namoya Mine in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo and evacuated staff, due to security concerns, the company said in a press statement issued on Monday.
A convoy of 23 trucks belonging to contractors of the Namoya mine and travelling from Baraka, DRC to the Namoya mine with supplies for the mine, was trapped in a cross fire between the Congolese national army, the FARDC, and an armed group in Lulimba on the National Road 5.
The armed group currently controls the Lulimba community and its environs, and has not permitted the release of the 23 trucks from Lulimba. According to Banro, all of the drivers of the trucks are safe.
“Due to the fighting at Lulimba and ongoing fighting between the FARDC and other armed groups around other communities along the N5 supply corridor and its connections, all operations at the Company’s Namoya mine have been temporarily suspended and staff were evacuated on a temporary basis.”
A small group of key staff have now returned to site today to ensure maintenance of key equipment and facilities at Namoya. The Namoya camp and mining and processing facilities are being secured by the national security agencies, including the FARDC. The mining and mobile equipment were moved by the Company for safety from the mining areas to the plant and workshop areas prior to the evacuation.
Banro has said it is monitoring the situation and will provide an update as more information becomes available.
Normal operations are continuing at the Company’s Twangiza mine.