Banro Provides an Operational Update for its Projects in the

Banro Provides an Operational Update for its Projects in the DRC 
TORONTO, ONTARIO -- (Marketwire) -- 11/21/12 -- Banro Corporation
("Banro" or the "Company") (TSX:BAA)(NYSE Amex:BAA)(NYSE MKT:BAA) is
pleased to provide an operational update of its projects in the
Democratic Republic of the Congo (the "DRC") and an outlook for 2013. 
Highlights 


 
--  Twangiza's expansion is underway, with US$9 million already committed to
    increasing CIL and elution capacity, aiming at throughputs of 1.7Mtpa
    and recoveries of 87-90%, delivering in the order of 10,000 ounces per
    month by Q4 2013, with a further upgrade to 2Mtpa planned for 2014. 
--  Namoya's development is on track for mid-2013 commissioning and ramp up
    to peak production of 13,000 ounces per month by December 2013. 
--  Exploration work during 2012 continued to delineate additional targets
    on all four projects, as highlighted in the Company's press release
    dated November 15, 2012, most of which are oxides and free-milling
    material, with the prospect of defining additional ounces, and replacing
    depleted ounces at existing production sites. 
--  Continuing to move towards becoming a fully integrated gold mining
    company with a reduction in contractors, rightsizing and multi-skilling
    of the expat workforce, with significant cost benefits being delivered
    over the past quarter. 
--  Pre-feasibility studies concluded for hydro-electric power generation
    projects revealing attractive, low capital cost opportunities to deliver
    optimal power solution to both Namoya and Twangiza within the next two
    years. This will lead to material cost reductions, potentially driving
    costs below the targeted US$500/ounce, staving off industry-wide
    inflation, thereby achieving Banro's goal of becoming a low cost gold
    producer. 

 
Twangiza  
Since declaration of commercial production effective September 1,
2012, production at Twangiza has been approaching the current target
of 8,000 ounces of gold per month. Whilst mechanical issues
surrounding the motor for Ball Mill 1 resulted in lower than expected
production for the month of September, where only 5,123 ounces were
poured, production improved to 6,534 ounces recovered during October
and this is
 projected to improve again for November approaching the
8,000 ounce range. Operating costs will remain steady at US$5.6
million per month for Q4 2012, bringing cash costs per ounce into the
US$750/ounce range and, as general operating efficiencies improve and
as the benefits of the plant upgrade outlined below are realised,
cash costs will reduce every quarter and are targeted to be in the
order of US$550/ounce by end 2013. 
The engineering towards the plant upgrade, aimed at enhancing
production security and increasing plant throughput to 1.7Mtpa, plus
improving recoveries to around 90%, has largely been completed.  
The upgrade will entail: the installation of a strengthened grid
grizzly and rock breaker; the replacement of the primary crusher (MMD
mineral sizer) with a larger and more powerful unit; upgrading the
apron feeder power pack; the speeding up of conveyor belts; the
replacement of the secondary cone crusher; the installation of four
additional CIL tanks; and the installation of a second elution
circuit, including kiln and gold room. Orders have been placed for
the steel and equipment in order to achieve the above, and project
completion is anticipated during Q3 2013. Further upgrades are
planned to be undertaken in early 2014, or as cash-flows allow, which
will enable plant throughputs to be further increased to 2Mtpa. 
In addition to this, Twangiza has undergone a streamlining process in
terms of the use of contractors as well as upgrading of its operating
resources. This model will form the blueprint for future operations
as the Company moves towards becoming a fully integrated low cost
gold producer. The following major initiatives have been achieved to
date: 


 
--  The new management and supervisory team, consisting of multifaceted
    specialists across the disciplines, is now largely in place, enabling
    some construction skills to be transferred to Namoya, resulting in an
    overall reduction of Banro and contractor expatriate numbers; 
--  The switch from contractor mining to owner mining has been completed.
    This has resulted in mining targets being consistently achieved and
    beaten; 
--  The Run-of-Mine ("ROM") pad area has been extended by approximately one
    third, enabling optimum blending in terms of grade and material type; 
--  The mobile fleet maintenance workshop has been moved to a location
    immediately adjacent to the Twangiza Main pit, eliminating the previous
    16-kilometre round trip; 
--  The two million litre fuel storage facility immediately adjacent to the
    power house has been fully commissioned, providing two months of on-site
    capacity; 
--  Raw water delivery to the metallurgical plant has been halved following
    the improvement of return water pumping arrangements now established at
    the Tailings Management Facility (TMF); 
--  The five year toe of the TMF has been completed; 
--  Relocation housing will be completed at the residential community of
    Cinjira by the end of December 2012.

 
At Twangiza, the bulk of the exploration activities focused on the
definition drilling of the near-mine Twangiza East and West targets
with the object of replacing mineral reserves depleted during the
year.  
The preliminary work carried out on the Twangiza North porphyry
material has demonstrated that the bulk of the transition and primary
porphyry material could also be processed through the existing CIL
plant. Further metallurgical and engineering studies are underway to
confirm the results of the preliminary work. The results of the
preliminary study will be published in the new-year as part of
Banro's mineral resource and mineral reserve update. 
In terms of the current status of operations, Mill No 1 has been put
back into service, and both mills have demonstrated more than enough
capacity to handle planned increased tonnages. The re-introduction of
Mill No 1 resulted in an immediate improvement in processed tonnage
and gold output since September, such that forecast production of
8,000 ounces per month should be achievable over the current quarter.
In addition, it is anticipated that operating costs will be reduced
as operating efficiencies are improved, as reliance upon contractors
is decreased, and overall expatriate numbers diminish. As the
benefits of the plant expansion and consolidation plan are realised
during 2013, cash costs per ounce are expected to progressively
decrease from in the order of US$700/oz during Q1 2013 to in the
order of US$550/ounce by Q4 2013. In terms of capital expenditure for
2013, because of the plant expansion exercise, this will be higher
than on-going sustaining capital required for the remainder of the
mine life. Greater earnings potential exists when hydro-electric
power generating facilities are introduced, where cash costs could be
further significantly reduced.  
Namoya  
Development progress remains on track to commission the plant by
mid-2013, and ramp up to full production by end Q4 2013. This
timetable comes with a number of challenges in terms of critical
paths, specifically the mobilization of steelwork and plant equipment
over the next three months. To this end, significant focus is on the
improvement of the main road access to enable timely transfer of
heav
y machinery and out of gauge cargo to site in order to meet
deadlines for the completion of bulk earthworks and civil engineering
works.  
The Company's decision to perform a number of key functions
internally, including the purchase its own earthworks fleet, has
resulted in a higher budget than initially planned, as previously
reported. This decision provides timetable improvements and is
expected to contribute towards minimizing future operating costs.  
Specific progress at Namoya has been as follows:  


 
--  All erection, earth moving and civil equipment for development and
    operational requirements have been procured and deployed to site to
    execute the project construction deliverables for the metallurgical
    processing plant, heap leach pads and tailings management facility; 
--  To secure the supply of sand and aggregates required for the main civil
    works, a crushing, screening and washing plant has been procured and
    erected on site. The source of raw material for this plant is hard rock
    from a quarry situated 6 kilometres from the mine site; 
--  Civil works for production infrastructure commenced in September 2012
    and earthworks required prior to commencement of the construction of the
    metallurgical plant are now well underway; 
--  Category A civil works are scheduled for completion during Q1 2013 and
    planned to be released in a phased sequence for the erection of
    structural steel and the installation of mechanical equipment;  
--  Procurement of all long lead mechanical and electrical equipment is now
    complete and deliveries to site are expected to commence during Q4 2012;
--  Designs for 60% of the 1,000 tonnes of structural steel required for the
    construction of the metallurgical plant have been completed and orders
    placed with manufacturers, which will enable shipments to commence
    during Q4 2012. The remaining design work is in progress and drawings
    are planned to be released to manufacturers during Q4 2012, thus
    enabling final deliveries to site during early Q2 2013;  
--  Electrical and control system designs have been completed and orders
    placed with manufacturers and suppliers. Factory acceptance testing is
    current with the release of equipment scheduled to commence in Q1 2013.

 
Construction works are planned to be completed toward the end of Q2
2013, followed by commissioning, and ramp up is expected to be
completed during Q3 2013. Name plate gold production is expected to
be achieved by the end of Q4 2013. 
Hydroelectric Power Study 
Further to the above, Banro has completed a pre-feasibility study
which examines two options for the potential generation of
hydro-electric power at Namoya. The first would be the re-engineering
and refurbishment of an existing disused facility to provide a
generation capacity of 4.5 MW and capacity factor of 60%, at an
estimated capital cost of some US$22 million. This would potentially
result in a US$59 million saving in fuel costs over life of mine, for
the first phase only. The second green-field option would have a
capacity factor of 97% and an estimated capital cost of US$44
million. This could potentially result in fuel cost savings over life
of mine of US$77 million for the first phase only. The construction
period for both project options would be 18 months from completion of
detailed engineering design. The Company is currently looking at
external funding options for the hydro, which may determine the
option selected. Given the guaranteed off-take from Banro and the
region, the Company believes such funding can be secured within the
next six months to allow this project to be started. The attraction
of hydro would be a significant improvement of the CIL economics
where a higher power demand is required for grinding compared to the
Heap Leach. 
The hydro project would be capable of providing power for the heap
leach plant, with potential to upgrade generation capacity to provide
sufficient power for a further 1.5-2Mtpa CIL plant, leading to steady
state power costs of less than US$0.01 per kilowatt hour. Based on
the Company's budgeted diesel costs of US$1.65 per litre, this would
translate into a cost saving of some US$150/ounce, and could reduce
the project's total operating costs below the US$500/ounce range, and
significantly increase the returns from this project. A report on the
hydroelectric options will be released shortly, with guidance on the
funding options.  
Exploration 
In terms of exploration, and as press released on November 15, 2012,
drilling has identified increased oxide and free-milling material at
the Namoya project, with attractive widths and grades, these
appearing to be open ended both along strike and at depth. These new
targets are not included in the current mineral resource but are
expected to add to the existing resource base. The metallurgy of
these targets is attractive, with recoveries through a CIL plant in
the order of 95%, which would justify adding a milling circuit and
additional CIL capacity. 
The team is currently completing a resource update, which will be
followed by a preliminary economic assessment ("PEA"). This is
expected to be released within the next few months and will have the
advantage of using real costs from current operations. The potential
impact of adding a 1-2Mtpa milling circuit and CIL plant will be
examined, which would treat higher grade material whilst low grade
material would continue to report to the heap leach facility.  
The conversion of these additional resources into reserves will be
the focus of the exploration objectives for 2013, as well as the
completion of a full feasibility that will allow for a 2014 project
development. With the infrastructure at Namoya developed, and the
existing footprint in terms of civil works being designed to
accommodate such a plant expansion, it is likely that the proposed
CIL expansion could be constructed over 12 months, allowing for a
2014 build and 2015 production. Assuming a facility of 1-2Mtpa was
introduced this would increase production to between 300,000 and
400,000 ounces per annum. 
Lugushwa  
The exploration work has delineated a number of targets, some of
which have been drilled. The recent drilling has intersected a number
of high-grade zones mainly within the oxide domain which was
highlighted in the released of November 15, 2012. The drilling
program delineated extensions to the known mineralization and the
results will be used to upgrade inferred mineral resources to the
indicated mineral resource category for inclusion in the update of
the overall mineral resource anticipated for early 2013. "The wide
zones of near-surface mineralization at Lugushwa have potential to
become a bulk-mineable resource," commented Banro VP, Exploration,
Daniel Bansah. "Since 2011, we have had confirmation of the potential
for mineable oxide resources from the significant Lugushwa resource
base, which will be a catalyst for the completion of the resource
update by early 2013. Results from the resource update will inform
the decision to proceed with further exploration to and the
completion of a PEA during 2013, the exact timing of which will be
driven by continued exploration success." 
The bulk of the proposed exploration work for 2013 at Lugushwa will
focus on the completion of the shallow infill and extension drilling 
to assist in the completion of the PEA. There will also be a refocus
of regional exploration towards the southern part of the concession
which has the most favourable and consistent results. An increased
amount of metallurgical test work will also be carried out during the
second half of 2013. Once a positive PEA is completed, the Company
intends to undertake a feasibility study of the Lugushwa property,
and adding this project to the production pipeline. 
Kamituga  
The Kamituga property has been the subject of a "fast track results
driven" exploration program since February 2011, which explains the
Companies overspend on the exploration budget for 2012, with surface
and adit mapping, soil geochemistry, trenching/channel sampling and
auger, RC and diamond drilling. In addition, ground geophysical
studies (Pole-Dipole and IP survey) were also conducted to increase
geological understanding and to identify possible extensions to the
identified mineralised zone within the property.  
The drilling program in the Kamituga project was aimed at testing and
following up delineated targets from surface soil geochemistry,
trenching and auger drilling at the different prospects, with the
objective of defining the down-dip and strike-extensions of the
deposit as well as the control of mineralization within the property.
Details of the drilling results have been published in the Company's
November 15, 2012 press release, which demonstrate the presence of
extremely high-grade, narrow widths quartz zones similar to the
material mined from underground by the previous owners and
medium-high grade, wide zones of gold mineralization that require
additional drilling to further delineate and define additional
resources before determining the full potential of the property.  
Simon Village, President & CEO Banro, commented, "It is clear that,
with the work undertaken on all sites throughout 2012, and taking
cognizance of some teething problems encountered throughout the year
in terms of Twangiza's now recognized mechanical shortfalls, Banro's
prospects of becoming a significant African gold producer are very
real. It is anticipated that infill drilling and metallurgy will
confirm additional oxide and free-milling ounces at Twangiza North,
which will extend Twangiza's mine life and underpin the current
expansion exercise. We have also identified the opportunity to add a
second development phase at Namoya to treat the high-grade resources
now being drilled, and this constitutes a change in Banro's
development strategy. Rather than embarking upon green-fields
construction of new operations at either Lugushwa or Kamituga,
brownfield expansion at Twangiza and Namoya will come first. We
believe this approach will ultimately deliver higher returns on
capital already invested, as well as provide accelerated production
growth. Our ability to expand on sites where we have established
infrastructure will also allow time to focus on increasing our
resources at the other projects and optimizing our management
structures, systems and controls, which we believe is essential to
enable the optimal development of Banro's property portfolio and
establish ourselves as a low cost producer." 
Qualified Persons 
Colin J.S. Belshaw, FIMMM, I.Eng., Banro Vice President, Operations
and Daniel K. Bansah, Banro Vice President, Exploration and a
Chartered Professional Member of The Australasian Institute of Mining
and Metallurgy (Aus.I.M.M), each of whom is a "qualified person" (as
such term is defined in National Instrument 43-101), have reviewed
and approved the technical information in this press release.  
Banro Corporation is a Canadian gold mining company focused on
production from the Twangiza oxide mine and development of three
additional major, wholly-owned gold projects, each with mining
licenses, along the 210 kilometre long Twangiza-Namoya gold belt in
the South Kivu and Maniema provinces of the Democratic Republic of
the Congo. Led by a proven management team with extensive gold and
African experience, Banro's plans include the construction of its
second gold mine at Namoya, at the south end of this gold belt, as
well as the development of two other projects, Lugushwa and Kamituga,
in the central portion of the belt. The initial focus of the Company
is on oxides, which have a low capital intensity to develop but also
attract a lower technical and financial risk to the Company and as
such maximize the return on capital and limits the dilution to
shareholders as the Company develops this prospective gold belt. All
business activities are followed in a socially and environmentally
responsible manner. 
For further information, please visit our website at www.banro.com.  
Cautionary Note to U.S. Investors 
The United States Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC")
permits U.S. mining companies, in their filings with the SEC, to
disclose only those mineral deposits that a company can economically
and legally extract or produce. Certain terms are used by the
Company, such as "Measured", "Indicated", and "Inferred" "Resources",
that the SEC guidelines strictly prohibit U.S. registered companies
from including in their filings with the SEC. U.S. Investors are
urged to consider closely the disclosure in the Company's Form 40-F
Registration Statement, File No. 001-32399, which may be secured from
the Company, or from the SEC's website at
http://www.sec.gov/edgar.shtml.  
Cautionary Note Concerning Forward-Looking Statements 
This press release contains forward-looking statements. All
statements, other than statements of historical fact, that address
activities, events or developments that the Company believes, expects
or anticipates will or may occur in the future (including, without
limitation, statements regarding estimates and/or assumptions in
respect of gold production, revenue, cash flow and costs, estimated
project economics, mineral resource and mineral reserve estimates,
potential mineralization, potential mineral resources and mineral
reserves, projected timing of future gold production and the
Company's exploration and development plans and objectives) are
forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements reflect
the current expectations or beliefs of the Company based on
information currently available to the Company. Forward-looking
statements are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties that
may cause the actual results of the Company to differ materially from
those discussed in the forward-looking statements, and even if such
actual results are realized or substantially realized, there can be
no assurance that they will have the expected consequences to, or
effects on the Company. Factors that could cause actual results or
events to differ materially from current expectations include, among
other things: uncertainty of estimates of capital and operating
costs, production estimates and estimated economic return; the
possibility that actual circumstances will differ from the estimates
and assumptions used in the economic studies of the Company's
projects; failure to establish estimated mineral resources and
mineral reserves; fluctuations in gold prices and currency exchange
rates; inflation; gold recoveries being less than those indicated by
the metallurgical testwork carried out to date (there can be no
assurance that gold recoveries in small scale laboratory tests will
be duplicated in large tests under on-site conditions or during
production); uncertainties relating to the availability and costs of
financing needed in the future; changes in equity markets; political
developments in the DRC; lack of infrastructure; failure to procure
or maintain, or delays in procuring or maintaining, permits and
approvals; lack of availability at a reasonable cost or at all, of
plants, equipment or labour; inability to attract and retain key
management and personnel; changes to regulations affecting the
Company's activities; the uncertainties involved in interpreting
drilling results and other geological data; and the other ri
sks
disclosed under the heading "Risk Factors" and elsewhere in the
Company's annual information form dated March 26, 2012 filed on SEDAR
at www.sedar.com and EDGAR at www.sec.gov. 
Any forward-looking statement speaks only as of the date on which it
is made and, except as may be required by applicable securities laws,
the Company disclaims any intent or obligation to update any
forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information,
future events or results or otherwise. Although the Company believes
that the assumptions inherent in the forward-looking statements are
reasonable, forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future
performance and accordingly undue reliance should not be put on such
statements due to the inherent uncertainty therein. 
Cautionary Note Concerning Resource and Reserve Estimates 
The Company's mineral resource and mineral reserve figures are
estimates and no assurances can be given that the indicated levels of
gold will be produced. Such estimates are expressions of judgment
based on knowledge, mining experience, analysis of drilling results
and industry practices. Valid estimates made at a given time may
significantly change when new information becomes available. While
the Company believes that its mineral resource and mineral reserve
estimates are well established, by their nature resource and reserve
estimates are imprecise and depend, to a certain extent, upon
statistical inferences which may ultimately prove unreliable. If such
estimates are inaccurate or are reduced in the future, this could
have a material adverse impact on the Company. 
Mineral resources are not mineral reserves and do not have
demonstrated economic viability. There is no certainty that mineral
resources can be upgraded to mineral reserves through continued
exploration. 
Due to the uncertainty that may be attached to inferred mineral
resources, it cannot be assumed that all or any part of an inferred
mineral resource will be upgraded to an indicated or measured mineral
resource as a result of continued exploration. Confidence in the
estimate is insufficient to allow meaningful application of the
technical and economic parameters to enable an evaluation of economic
viability worthy of public disclosure (except in certain limited
circumstances). Inferred mineral resources are excluded from
estimates forming the basis of a feasibility study. 
Contacts:
Banro Corporation
Simon Village
President & CEO
+44 (0) 788 405 4012 
Banro Corporation
Arnold T. Kondrat
Executive Vice-President
+1 (416) 366-2221 
Banro Corporation
Naomi Nemeth
Investor Relations
+1 (416) 366-9189 or +1-800-714-7938, Ext. 2802
info@banro.com
www.banro.com