Since the announcement in April 2019 that China-based CITIC Metal agreed to invest an additional USD459-million in Ivanhoe Mines, the pace of underground mine development at the company’s Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the DRC has accelerated.
According to Robert Friedland and Yufeng Sun, co-chairmen of TSX listed Ivanhoe, the first access drives are approaching Kakula’s initial high-grade ore. Kakula is the stage one, six million tonne per annum (Mtpa) operation on the Kamoa-Kakula project.
Ivanhoe and its joint-venture partner Zijin Mining have commenced earthworks for the surface processing plant and according to a statement by Ivanhoe, have issued tenders for the long-lead mining and processing equipment. Initial copper concentrate production from the Kakula Mine currently is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.
“With the initial mine development of Kakula soon to be fully financed, we now are focused on rapidly advancing the construction of surface infrastructure and the processing plant, to match the accelerating pace of development of the underground mine workings and to transform Kakula into one of the world’s greatest copper mines. The shallow, thick, high-grade nature of the orebody will allow us to ramp up production quickly,” says Friedland.