Kibali Gold Mine, Congo
Kibali gold mine is situated 560km north-east of Kisangani in the Orientale province. The site is located in the north-east of Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in Central Africa.
The gold mine is being developed in an area of 1,836km2 on the Moto goldfields. When completed, it is expected to be one of the largest gold mines of Africa.
The open pit and underground integrated mining at Kibali is expected to be commissioned in the fourth quarter of 2013. The mine will have 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.
The JV expects to invest approximately $1.4bn in the development of the Kibali project. The mine is expected to produce about 600,000 ounces of gold per annum for the first 12 years. Production is expected to start by end of 2013.
Geology and mineralisation of Kibali
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.
Mining and infrastructure at Kibali
Rangold will be responsible for development and construction of the underground mine. The underground mine is being developed by constructing a tunnel using the box cut method, while also creating a terrace for the processing plant.
The integrated mine will comprise 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.
The development contractor for the decline system has been selected. The final design of the system has begun and the vertical shaft will be designed by an engineering company.
Development of Kibali gold mine
The Kibali gold project is being developed in two overlapping phases. Phase 1 of the project is being developed from first quarter of 2012 to fourth quarter of 2013.
It includes construction of the open pit operations, metallurgical plant, tailings storage facility, hydropower stations, back-up power plant, and all other associated infrastructure. The estimated cost of phase 1 is $920m.
Phase 2 will develop the underground mine and is expected to start production in 2014. The cost estimated for the phase is $650m.
Tulawaka Gold Mine is situated 160km south-west of Mwanza in the western part of the Lake Victoria Goldfield, in the United Republic of Tanzania.
Construction work on the Kibali gold project began in April 2012 and is underway. Approximately 200,000 cubic meters of land has been shifted for the foundation of metallurgical plant and 800,000m³ for the bulk earthworks.
Construction of associated infrastructure and earthwork of hydropower station and boxcut are in progress. The underground mine is being developed through twin decline system.
The works completed in 2012 were manufacturing of the mills and hydro turbines, and construction of the ROM pad, platform for the vertical shaft and mine assay laboratory.