Canadian mining company, Ivanhoe Mines, has started production on Phase 1 of its Kamoa-Kakula copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Months ahead of schedule, and following in-depth test work that included initial hot commissioning tests on the ball mills and additional processing equipment, Ivanhoe announced that the mine is expected to produce a particularly high-grade, clean copper concentrate grading – approximately 57% Cu – with low arsenic levels.
Kamoa-Kakula is set to become the second largest copper mining complex globally, with peak annual production estimated at 800,000 tons.
“This is a historic moment for Ivanhoe Mines and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Discovering and delivering a copper province of this scale, grade and outstanding environmental, social and governance credentials, ahead of schedule and on budget, is a unicorn in the copper mining business. This accomplishment reflects the outstanding cooperation of thousands of individuals, and all of our joint-venture partners at Kamoa-Kakula,” stated Robert Friedland, Co-Chairman, Ivanhoe Mines.
“The inception of Phase 1 is the birth of a copper complex that will benefit generations to come, and we very much look forward to the upcoming phases of expansion and exploration opportunities. Huge congratulations to the entire Ivanhoe Mines team and a roaring applause to all the hard-working suppliers and contractors for collectively completing this mammoth undertaking,” added Miles Sun, Co-Chairman, Ivanhoe Mines.
The mine is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6), Crystal River Global Ltd (0.8%), and the Government of the DRC (20%).