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Clean green copper to be produced at Kamoa’s hydropowered DRC operation

Clean green copper to be produced at Kamoa’s hydropowered DRC operation

Clean green copper is set to be produced at Kamoa Copper operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ivanhoe Mines announced the plans and said securing sustainable, long-term electricity is essential in the development of Kamoa Copper, the first phase concentrator of which is now fully operational.

A total of 338 000 t grading 4.59% copper was mined in June and Kamoa Copper’s pre-production surface stockpiles now contain 3.4-million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated, blended average of 4.78% copper.

Offtake agreements for copper concentrate and blister copper have been signed with CITIC Metal and Zijin-subsidiary Gold Mountains International Mining for 50% each of the copper products from Kamoa’s Kakula first phase production. Authorisation to export copper products from the Kamoa-Kakula mine to international markets has also been secured.

Public-private partnership

To support the continued successful performance of its mining complex, Kamoa signed a public-private partnership with DRC’s State-owned power company La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL) to secure the hydropower. Kamoa Copper’s power allocation, based on the works undertaken at Mwadingusha, is enough for the first phase, as well as the second phase, which is expected to be completed in 2022.

“The upgrade of the Mwadingusha hydropower plant has been very successful. The facility will provide clean hydro-generated electricity to local communities as well as to Kamoa Copper,” the company stated.

In April 2021, Kamoa Copper extended its agreement with SNEL to include the upgrading of Turbine 5 at the Inga II hydropower complex, which will provide additional power for future expansions of the mine.

The Mwadingusha hydro power plant is located on the Lufira river, about 80 km from Likasi town, in the Haut Katanga province, and about 320 km from Kamoa-Kakula. The first unit/turbine started working by 1930 with works performed from 1921 to 1936 for six turbines and dam, studies included.

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