Kibali Gold Mine, Orientale, Congo

Kibali Gold Mine, Orientale

Kibali gold mine is situated 560km north-east of Kisangani in the Orientale province. The gold mine, developed in an area of 1,836km² on the Moto goldfields, is one of the largest gold mines of Africa.

The site is located in the north-east of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa.

The open pit and underground integrated mining at Kibali was commissioned in September 2013 and has a life of 18 years.

The project is a joint venture (JV) of Rangold (45%), AngloGold Ashanti (45%) and Sokimo (10%). It is being developed and operated by Rangold Resources.

Production at the mine commenced in September 2013. The development cost of the mine was approximately $1.7bn.

It is expected to produce about 600,000 ounces of gold per annum for the first 12 years.

Geology and mineralisation of Kibali

"The site is located in the north-east of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa."

Kibali gold mine is located within the Moto greenstone belt. The belt contains Archean Kibalian volcano-sedimentary rocks and ironstone-chert horizons.

The volcano-sedimentary sequence comprises of sedimentary rocks, variety of pyroclastic rocks, basaltic flow rocks, mafic-intermediate intrusions and intermediate-felsic intrusive rocks.

The gold fields at Kibali are characterised by northeast and northwest trending faults. The gold mineralisation is scattered throughout the region.

It is mainly found in volcaniclastics, coarse volcanicastics, sedimentary rocks and banded ferruginous cherts.
The mineralisation is believed to have occurred structurally through quartz-carbonate alteration and pyrite.

It is broadly divided into two zones. One part lies in the Kibali-Durba-Karagba which trends northeast and the second part lies in the northwest trending Pakaka-Mengu area.

Kibali gold mine reserves

The Kibali gold mine has reserves of approximately 10.92oz of gold as of 2012. The combined indicated and inferred gold resources have been estimated at 18.99 million oz.

Mining and infrastructure at Kibali

The underground mine was developed by constructing a tunnel using the box cut method, while creating a terrace for the processing plant.

The integrated mine comprises of a twin-circuit sulphide and oxide plant, four hydropower stations and a standby high-speed thermal power generator as back-up to be used during the dry season.

Work on the open pit mine development at Kibali began at the end of the second quarter of 2012.

Development of Kibali gold mine

The Kibali gold project was developed in two overlapping phases.

"The belt contains Archean Kibalian volcano-sedimentary rocks and ironstone-chert horizons."

The phase 1 of the project was carried out from first quarter of 2012 to fourth quarter of 2013.

It included construction of the open pit operations, metallurgical plant, tailings storage facility, hydropower stations, back-up power plant, and all other associated infrastructure.

The underground mine was developed as part of the second phase, and the production commenced in September 2013.

Construction and infrastructure facilities at Kibali mine

Construction works on the Kibali gold project began in April 2012. Approximately 200,000 cubic meters of land was shifted for the foundation of metallurgical plant and 800,000m³ for the bulk earthworks. The underground mine was developed through twin decline system.

The manufacturing of the mills and hydro turbines, and construction of the ROM pad, platform for the vertical shaft and mine assay laboratory works were completed in 2012.

Contractors involved with the Kibali mine

The underground mine development and construction contract was awarded to Rangold. Byrnecut was contracted for the development and production.

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