The Phase 2 concentrator plant at Kamoa-Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo is nearing completion. Ivanhoe co-chairpersons Robert Friedland and Yufeng confirmed the reports and said the 3.8-million-tonne-a-year plant is 70% complete and on track to start operations in the second quarter of 2022.
The two also affirmed that the 3.8-million-tonne-a-year Phase 1 concentrator plant is operating at steady-state design capacity and that, as a result, Ivanhoe’s 2021 production guidance for contained copper in concentrate produced from Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 concentrator is between 92 500 t and 100 000 t.
They explained that the higher guidance numbers were reinforced by the production performance in November, which resulted in a record 18 270 t of copper in concentrate produced, bringing year-to-date output to more than 87 000 t as at November.
Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project
Details of Kamoa-Kakula’s full-year copper production, as well as guidance for 2022 copper production, cost of sales and cash costs, including the start of Phase 2 operations, will be provided in January. About 357 000 t of ore was milled in November at an average feed grade of 6.18% copper, exceeding the monthly design run rate of 316 667 t by more than 12%. Copper flotation recoveries averaged 85.4% in November. The Phase 1, steady-state design copper recovery is about 86%, depending on ore feed grade.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project, a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (20%) has been independently ranked as the world’s largest, undeveloped, high-grade copper discovery by international mining consultant Wood Mackenzie. It is a very large, near-surface, flat-lying, stratiform copper deposit with adjacent prospective exploration areas within the Central African Copperbelt, approximately 25 kilometres west of the town of Kolwezi and about 270 kilometres west of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi.