Ivanhoe Mines expedites first copper production at Kamoa-Kakula in DRC

Ivanhoe Mines has announced it is accelerating the construction and commissioning process at the Phase 1 Kamoa-Kakula copper concentrator plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The target date for C4 commissioning (milling of ore and first copper concentrate production) has been advanced to the end of May or early June — several months ahead of schedule.

Overall construction of the Kamoa-Kakula project’s 3.8 million tonnes per annum concentrator plant is now 98% complete, according to the company. In April, 357,000 tonnes of material grading 5.70% copper were mined from Kakula as pre-production surface stockpiles.

The project — a joint venture between Ivanhoe, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River Global and the DRC Government— has been independently ranked as the world’s largest, undeveloped copper discovery by international mining consultant Wood Mackenzie.

The large, near-surface copper deposit has adjacent prospective exploration areas within the Central African Copperbelt, approximately 25 km West of the town of Kolwezi and about 270 km West of the provincial capital of Lubumbashi.

“The start of production at Kakula marks the beginning of a multi-generational copper mining district, consisting of numerous high-grade mines,” said Ivanhoe co-chair Robert Friedland.

“We now turn our focus to scaling up this expansive copper region in a manner that is ethically and socially responsible, and setting a new global benchmark for the elimination of greenhouse gases in the production of copper that the world urgently needs.”