New road infrastructure will provide Ivanhoe’s Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the DRC with important new transportation connections for shipping construction materials and copper concentrates.
Construction of the new highway that directly links Kamoa-Kakula to the Kolwezi airport, is making rapid progress. According to Yufeng ‘Miles’ Sun, co-chairman of Ivanhoe, the onset of the dry season has made construction work a lot easier.
The 34km long east-west road is now almost 25% complete and is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019. When complete, Sun says, the road will significantly improve Kamoa-Kakula’s transportation corridor that is being used to bring in mining equipment and construction materials. The road will also be used to transport copper concentrates. Sun adds that the new road also will improve the safety and commuting time for employees between Kamoa-Kakula and Kolwezi and Lubumbashi, as well as for mine visitors arriving at the Kolwezi airport.
The new road will provide Kamoa-Kakula with a direct, high-quality connection to the national road between Kolwezi and Lubumbashi and to a proposed, new south-bound provincial road that will connect to Lumwana, Zambia and the Zambian rail system, via a planned new border crossing. This proposed heavy-haul route to Zambia would significantly streamline truck freight to and from Kamoa-Kakula.
The Kamoa-Kakula joint venture is constructing 19km of the new provincial road, while the Lualaba provincial government is constructing the remaining 15km under a toll concession agreement with a DRC-based contracting company. The toll road also will include a new north-bound, nine-kilometre section of road connecting all the mines on the western side of Kolwezi to the new provincial road.
A separate eight-kilometre, private mine access road also is being constructed by the Kamoa-Kakula joint venture at Kamoa-Kakula to safely by-pass the villages of Israel and Kaponda. This road is expected to be fully operational by the end of 2019 and will connect the Kakula mine directly to the new 34-kilometre provincial road. The private mine road will be available for transporting ore mined elsewhere on the Kamoa-Kakula project to the Kakula concentrator for processing.