Ivanhoe Mines ended 2021 on a high, reporting that Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1, 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) had exceeded the upper end of annual copper production guidance with more than 100,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate produced by 22 December 2021. The figures stipulated were on a 100%-project basis and metal reported in concentrate is prior to refining losses or deductions associated with smelter terms.
The 2021 production guidance for contained copper in concentrate produced from Kamoa-Kakula was 92,500 to 100,000 tonnes, which was originally projected to be 80,000 to 95,000 tonnes. The annual production guidance was also previously increased in November 2021, reflecting the successful completion of ramp-up of the Kakula Phase 1 concentrator.
Founder and Executive Co-Chair, Robert Friedland, commented on the project’s extraordinary success saying, “Kamoa Copper’s performance marks an excellent end to what has truly been a banner year for Ivanhoe Mines.
“We would like to extend heartfelt congratulations to the team at Kamoa-Kakula, who consistently exceeded expectations during the construction and development of the world’s newest world-scale copper mine and have continued that outperformance as we have moved through ramp-up and into full production.
“The Phase 2 expansion remains significantly ahead of schedule, and we are well on the way to doubling annual copper production to approximately 400,000 tonnes starting early in Q2 2022. So far in December, we have seen feed grades in excess of 6% copper and recoveries have also been exceeding our design recovery of 86%, which bodes well for our ability to efficiently ramp-up future expansions at Kamoa-Kakula. Our management team now envisions the Phase 3 concentrator will enter production by the end of 2024.”
He noted that the company was on its way to building Ivanhoe Mines into the next major, carbon-neutral global miner by doing things differently. He concluded, “Our team is re-inventing the responsible supply chain of the ‘electric metals’ that the world desperately requires for the energy transition.”