TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines says it is making “excellent progress” on the construction of the Stage 1 six-million-tonne-a-year Kamoa-Kakula copper mine, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).
After China-based Citic Metal agreed to invest an additional $459-million in Ivanhoe, the pace of underground development has accelerated and is nearing initial high-grade ore.
Moreover, Ivanhoe and its joint venture partner Zijin Mining have started earthworks for a surface processing plant and issued tenders for the long-lead mining and processing equipment.
Initial copper concentrate production from the mine is currently scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.
With the initial mine development of Kakula soon to be fully financed, the company is now focussed on rapidly advancing the construction of surface infrastructure and the processing plant, to match the accelerated pace of development of the underground mine workings.
“The shallow, thick, high-grade nature of the orebody will allow us to ramp up production quickly,” says Ivanhoe co-chairperson Robert Friedland.
Notably, the project has surpassed 14.5-million hours worked without a lost-time injury.
Meanwhile, upgrade work at the Mwadingusha hydropower plant is also progressing well. The plant will provide Kamoa-Kakula with clean hydroelectricity from the national grid.
The company expects the full upgrade and modernisation of the hydropower plant and its six generators to be completed in late 2020.
EDITED BY: Chanel de Bruyn Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online at https://m.miningweekly.com/article/kamoa-kakula-development-progressing-well-2019-06-18/rep_id:3861