Lausanne, Switzerland, Mar 22, 2022 (Newsfile Corp via COMTEX) -- Production of copper concentrate from Phase 2 plant now underway
Early commissioning positions Kamoa-Kakula to achieve upper end of 2022 copper production guidance of between 290,000 and 340,000 tonnes
De-bottlenecking program underway to boost copper production to more than 450,000 tonnes annually by Q2 2023
Lausanne, Switzerland--(Newsfile Corp. - March 22, 2022) - Ivanhoe Mines /zigman2/quotes/207656050/delayed CA:IVN +0.62% (otcqx:IVPAF) Co-Chair Robert Friedland is pleased to announce today at the Financial Times Global Commodities Summit, to an audience of international mining and market leaders, the start of hot commissioning of the Phase 2, 3.8-million-tonne-per-annum concentrator plant at the Kamoa-Kakula Mining Complex. In addition, the first filtered copper concentrate production from the Phase 2 plant also has commenced.
First ore was introduced into the Phase 2 milling circuit on March 21, and first copper concentrate has been produced, approximately four months ahead of the original, announced development schedule. The Phase 2 concentrator plant is identical to the Phase 1 plant, with a design throughput of 475 dry tonnes per hour, or 3.8 million tonnes of ore per year. Over the last six months, the Phase 1 plant has consistently exceeded design ore throughput by approximately 10% to 15%.
The Phase 1 concentrator plant reached commercial production in July 2021, approximately two months after the start of hot commissioning, and reached design ore throughput in August 2021.
Mark Farren, Kamoa Copper's CEO, commented: "We now have successfully built the first two concentrator plants ahead of schedule and on budget. Given the experience gained by our operations team during the ramp up of the Phase 1 plant, we anticipate the ramp up of the Phase 2 plant will go even smoother. In addition, since the Phase 2 plant has started earlier than planned, we now expect to achieve the upper end of our copper production guidance for 2022, which currently is estimated at between 290,000 tonnes and 340,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate."
"The entire Kamoa Copper team has done a tremendous job in getting the Phase 2 plant up and running less than 10 months after the Phase 1 plant began operations," said Mr. Friedland. "The commissioning of the Phase 2 plant is the second important step on the path to establish Kamoa-Kakula as one of the two largest copper mining complexes on our planet … with a mine life that will last for generations. Kamoa-Kakula is by far the greenest and highest-grade major copper producer in the world. As Phase 2 is handed over to our operations team, the projects team now will turn its focus to the Phase 3 expansion, which currently is scheduled to begin operations by the end of 2024.
"Global climate change is real, and we see ourselves as an integral part of the solution by providing the copper the world urgently needs for an all-electric future. Together with our joint venture partners, we are resolved to expedite future expansion phases at Kamoa-Kakula to generate profitable growth and provide long-lasting economic and social benefits for the Congolese people.
"The Ivanhoe Mines management team is motivated to realize the potential to find additional Kamoa-Kakula-like copper discoveries on our Western Foreland exploration licences right next door, in an almost identical geologic setting. Our expansive 2022 drilling campaign, totalling approximately 95,000 metres, will soon commence."
Watch a new video highlighting the commissioning of Kamoa-Kakula's Phase 2 concentrator plant: https://vimeo.com/690889673/6de106f6a5
De-bottlenecking program underway to boost processing capacity at the Phase 1 and 2 plants by more than 20%
The de-bottlenecking program that was announced last month is progressing on schedule. The program will see Kamoa-Kakula increase the combined design processing capacity of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants by approximately 21%, to 9.2 million tonnes per annum, up from 7.6 million tonnes per annum.
Engineering design is underway, and procurement of long-lead items has begun. Kamoa Copper expects to be in a position to increase Kamoa-Kakula's combined processing capacity to 9.2 million tonnes per annum by Q2 2023.
Once completed, the de-bottlenecking program will enable the copper production from Kamoa Copper's first two phases to exceed 450,000 tonnes per year, positioning Kamoa Copper as the world's fourth largest copper producer .
The successful execution of Kamoa-Kakula's Phase 1 and 2 construction projects, as well as the ongoing de-bottlenecking program, have been undertaken by the same competent owners' team alongside a combination of tier-one local and international contractors. Without this fantastic teamwork, none of these achievements would have been possible.
Kamoa Copper management would like to especially acknowledge the following partners for their intense efforts in building Phase 1 and Phase 2 in record time, while remaining on budget:
DRA Global Limited of Johannesburg, South Africa; the China ENFI Engineering Corporation of Beijing, China; Kamoa-Kakula Construction Company (Zijin Construction) of Xiamen, China; Lualaba Prospere SA; T3 Projects of Johannesburg, South Africa; CITIC Construction and CITIC Heavy Industries of Beijing, China; and Kongo River of Lubumbashi, Democratic Republic of Congo.
Phase 2 offtake negotiations to be concluded imminently
Negotiations to extend existing offtake arrangements to accommodate Phase 2 copper production are nearing completion, based on competitive arm's-length commercial terms. The Phase 2 offtake is expected to streamline and improve certain provisions from Phase 1, for the benefit of all parties.
About the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mining Complex
Kamoa-Kakula is the world's fastest growing and highest-grade major copper mining complex. Based on independent benchmarking, the project's phased expansion scenario to 19 million tonnes per annum would position Kamoa-Kakula as the world's second-largest copper mining complex, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 tonnes.
A 2020 independent audit of Kamoa-Kakula's greenhouse gas intensity metrics performed by Hatch Ltd. of Mississauga, Canada, confirmed that the project will be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project is 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%).
Kamoa-Kakula's Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants at night.
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