Canadian Mining Journal


Ivanhoe to accelerate Phase 3 expansion at Kamoa-Kakula copper mine

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) announced that part of the proceeds from the recently completed US$575-million, 2.50% convertible senior notes offering will be used to accelerate the Phase 3 expansion at the Kamoa-Kakula copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

According to the company, fast-tracking additional hydropower upgrades in the DRC is also a high-priority opportunity to ensure clean and renewable electricity for all subsequent expansions at Kamoa-Kakula.

“The company will now look to further increase production at our Kamoa-Kakula copper joint-venture, and to accelerate the phase 3 concentrator expansion from 7.6 million tonnes per annum to 11.4 million tonnes per annum,” co-chairman Robert Friedland said in a media statement.

“Together with our partner Zijin Mining, we have already accelerated the phase 2 expansion to begin production in Q3 2022 and bring copper production to approximately 400,000 tonnes, or approximately 880 million lb., per year.”

Friedland said that the phase 3 expansion would bring copper production at Kamoa-Kakula up to approximately 530,000 tonnes, or approximately 1.2 billion lb. per year.

“Our company is about to make the long-fought transition from an explorer and developer to becoming a major diversified mining company,” Friedland said. “It has been a remarkable journey for Kamoa-Kakula and Platreef; to grow from grassroots discoveries to imminently joining the ranks of the world’s largest producers of copper, platinum-group metals and nickel.”

At present, Kamoa-Kakula’s phase 1, 3.8-mtpa concentrator is nearing completion, with the civil works for the second 3.8-mtpa concentrator (phase 2) advancing rapidly. At the same time, the second stage commissioning of the phase 1 ball mills and the concrete foundations for the second set of ball mills for the phase 2 concentrator are underway.

Kamoa-Kakula has been independently ranked as the world’s fourth-largest copper deposit by Wood Mackenzie. Its updated resource estimate shows that it holds 1.4 billion indicated tonnes grading 2.74% copper for 83.7 billion lb. of copper and another 339 million inferred tonnes grading 1.68% copper for 12.5 billion lb. of copper at a 1% cut-off grade.

According to Friedland, as infrastructure projects are being completed on the property, the recently obtained funding will also be used to expand and accelerate a copper exploration program on the company’s Western Foreland exploration licenses, located in close proximity to the Kamoa-Kakula mining license.

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