Banro Corporation (NYSEMKT:BAA) shares were flat at $0.780 on Friday and were also unchanged in after-hours trading. Share prices have been trading in a 52-week range of $0.08 to $4.80. The company has a market cap of $790 million at 109.86 million shares outstanding.
Recently, the company’s stock has been weighed down by a hostage situation involving its employees in the Democratic Republic of Congo. It just reported that four colleagues have been safely released after several days of negotiations. In the company’s press release, it gave “heartfelt thanks to all those in the community and government and so many other supported our efforts to gain our colleagues’ safe return.”
As it turned out, the captors demanded Banro Corporation to pay $1 million in ransom for the return of its employees. Reports indicated that the captors are representatives of the local community who believe the company is not doing enough to provide jobs and are seeking guarantees that Banro Corporation will carry out basic contractual agreements to build infrastructure in the area, including shools, roads and a health centre.
This is not the first time that Banro Corporation has dealt with such incidents. On May 18, it reported that attacks in the community near Namoya had led to an armed attack on the mine’s security forces and in February, a group of armed robbers attempted to enter Twangiza mine site camp which resulted in the fatalities of three mine police officer and one of the armed robbers.
Banro Corporation is a Canada-based gold mining company that holds interest in a number of gold properties, including Twangiza, Namoya, Lugushwa and Kamituga. It is focused on production from the Twangiza gold mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The company’s properties, totaling approximately 2,000 square kilometers, are covered by a total of over 10 exploitation permits or mining licenses. Through its DRC subsidiary, Banro Congo Mining SA, Banro Corporation holds over 10 exploration permits covering an aggregate of over 2,600 square kilometers.
Approximately 10 of the exploration permits are located near its Twangiza property and approximately four are located near the Namoya property. The Twangiza property is located in the South Kivu Province of the DRC, and has an area of approximately 1,000 square kilometers. Namoya consists of prospects, including Mwendamboko, Muviringu, Kakula, Namoya Summit, Seketi and Kangurube.