Success in the DRC: Investors line up for Banro already up 50% in 2012

Banro Corporation announced after the close it will increase the size of its brokered private placement debt offering to gross proceeds of $175 million from $125 million before.

The stock closed up 6.5% on Friday at $5.68. Positive news from the company operating in the Democratic Republic of the Congo has seen its share price go up 50% so far this year, propelling it to over the $1 billion market cap level.

Banro's Twangiza oxide mine poured its first gold early in the fourth quarter of 2011 with projected annual output of 120,000 ounces. The company owns four additional licences along the same gold belt in the east of the country.

Canada-based Banro said the money would be used for the construction of a second oxide gold mine, Namoya, and to work towards a hydro power option for the belt.

Writing in the Northern Miner in April Martin Jones, head of the Banro Foundation, described the company's approach to the central Africa country this way:

For the past six and a half years, our company, Banro (BAA-T, BAA-X), has been engaged in intensive mineral exploration in what many consider to be one of the less fashionable addresses on Earth: the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

We began with a handful of geologists comprised of a seasoned team of ex-pats from Ghana, Tanzania, and the U.K. who led and mentored a group of newly minted graduates from the local Bukavu Technical Institute.

Within a few years, that small band of explorers had delineated over 11 million oz. of gold and identified 16 new targets for follow-up in the DRC's eastern provinces of South Kivu and Maniema – surely one of the most successful exploration programs in recent African history.

Apart from rich gold fields the DRC is home to the world’s largest cobalt resource and second globally in terms of copper deposits.

The war-torn country recently emerged from a fiercely contested and disputed presidential election and reported last week that the death of the DRC's mining go-to guy and power-behind-the-throne will reshape country’s resource sector.