As of late Februray, Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) has completed the debottlenecking of the Kamoa-Kakula copper complex’s phase 1 and 2 concentrators, in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The company claims that the process was even completed ahead of schedule.
The ongoing final installation and commissioning of a fourth Larox filter press is the final step in the overall debottlenecking program, which is expected to be completed this month.
The shutdown of the phase 1 concentrator took place in January and the shutdown of the phase 2 concentrator plant was completed on Feb. 22, 2023. The new equipment consists of new hydrocyclone systems, new scavenger-cleaner flotation cells, a new concentrate thickener, as well as upsized piping and pumping capacity.
The debottlenecking program of Kamoa-Kakula's phase 1 and phase 2 concentrators is designed to increase the nameplate ore processing capacity by 22% from 7.6 to 9.2 million tonnes of ore per year, increasing production capacity up to approximately 450,000 tonnes per annum of copper in concentrate. For comparison, Kamoa-Kakula produced almost 333,500 tonnes of copper concentrate in 2022.
The phase 1 concentrator has been operating at its new, sustained nameplate capacity of 580 dry tonnes per hour since Jan. 25, and at times delivering as high as 590 dry tonnes per hour.
The phase 1 and phase 2 concentrators are expected to be able to sustain the new nameplate capacity of 9.2 million tonnes of ore per year prior to the fourth Larox filter press commissioning. The total capital cost for the debottlenecking program was approximately US$50 million.
“"The operations team at Kamoa-Kakula continues to exceed expectations,” said executive co-chair Robert Friedland.
“Delivering an important expansion project ahead of schedule and on budget. We intend to reach a sustainable, annualized production rate of 450,000 tonnes of copper during the second quarter, which is an exceptional achievement considering we declared phase 1 production at Kamoa-Kakula, alongside our joint venture partners, Zijin Mining, less than two years ago," Friedland said.
For more information, visit www.Ivanhoemines.com.