Canadian mining firm Banro has seen the first gold production from its new mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, having poured 320oz in 2013.

Namoya is situated about 210km south-west of their Twangiza mine, which started production in October 2011. It is an open pit mining operation with a hybrid gravity/Carbon in Leach (CIL) and heap leach extraction process.

The company said the gold production took place when it was commissioning the heap leach loaded carbon, elution and electro-winning operations.

Banro said production at Namoya is expected to transform it from a one-mine company with less than 100,000oz of annual gold production to a two-mine company with a target of more than 225,000oz of annual gold production.

Completion of the Namoya plant will continue in line with the commissioning operations scheduled for the first quarter of this year, with the aim to achieve commercial production by the end of the second quarter.

Banro president and CEO John Clarke said the professional operations teams, business partners, consultants, regional governments and the local communities have assisted the company in this significant achievement.

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"We look forward to continued growth, new business opportunities and a long association with the DRC," Clarke said.

Banro is planning to develop two additional gold projects named Lugushwa and Kamituga, in addition to the Twangiza and Namoya mines.

All four licensed projects are located along the 210km Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in the South Kivu and Maniema provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.