Canadian Mining Journal

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COPPER: Ivanhoe reviews Kamoa-Kakula development



Twin declines will provide access to the high grade Kakula copper deposit. (Image: Ivanhoe Mines)

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Toronto-based Ivanhoe Mines says a pre-feasibility study for phase one of the Kamoa-Kakula copper project is underway and due to be completed by the end of 2018.

Ivanhoe is planning a US$1.2 billion project including a 6.0-million-t/y mine. The Kamoa deposit contains 759 million indicated tonnes grading 2.57% copper and containing 43.0 billion lb. The inferred Kamoa resource is 202 million tonnes at 1.85% and contains 8.2 billion lb. of copper. At the Kakula deposit, the indicated resource is 585 million lb. at 2.92% copper and containing 37.7 billion lb. of copper plus 113 million inferred tonnes at 1.90% and containing 4.7 billion lb. of copper.

The resource estimate makes Kamoa-Kakula one of the more inviting copper projects in the world. The 1.3 billion tonnes of indicated resources containing 80.7 billion lb. of copper and 315 million tonnes of inferred resources containing 13.0 billion lb. of copper make this one of the world’s largest potential producers.

In a staged approach, Ivanhoe would like to expand the project to include a smelter. Options to accelerate development of the first two mines are being examined, as is the potential to eventually expand production to 18 million t/y.

Ivanhoe’s joint venture partner at Kamoa-Kakula is Zijin Mining Group, which also holds a 9.9% interest in the company.

Earlier this month, Ivanhoe and CITIC Metal Co. signed a long term strategic co-operation agreement under the terms of which CITIC will invest US$557 million in Ivanhoe. The money will be used to advance the Platreef platinum-palladium-nickel project in South Africa, the redevelopment of the Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-lead mine in DRC as well as Kamoa-Kakula. CITIC’s president Yufeng “Miles” Sun will become co-chairman of Ivanhoe along with Robert Friedland, and the Chinese company will name a second director.

Zijin Mining will exercise its anti-dilution rights through a US$60-million private placement.

More information about any of Ivanhoe’s projects is available at www.IvanhoeMines.com.