Ivanhoe Mines completes 70% of Kamoa concentrator plant in DRC; on track for Q2 2022 start-up

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Ivanhoe Mines Ltd.’s [IVN-TSX; IVPAF-OTCQX] Kamoa-Kakula’s phase 2, 3.8-million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator plant in the Democratic Republic of Congo now is approximately 70% complete and is well on track to begin operations in Q2 2022.

As the phase 1, 3.8-million-tonne/year concentrator plant is operating at steady-state design capacity. Ivanhoe’s 2021 production guidance for contained copper in concentrate produced from Kamoa-Kakula’s phase 1 concentrator is 92,500 to 100,000 tonnes. The higher guidance numbers are reinforced by excellent production performance in November, which saw a record 18,270 tonnes of copper in concentrate produced, bringing year-to-date output to more than 87,000 tonnes as of November 30, 2021. The figures are on a 100% project basis.

The company milled 357,000 tonnes of ore in November at an average feed grade of 6.18% copper, exceeding the monthly design run rate of 316,667 tonnes by more than 12%. Copper flotation recoveries averaged 85.4% in November. The phase 1, steady-state design copper recovery is approximately 86%, depending on ore feed grade.

Construction of the second 3.8-million-tonne/year concentrator plant (phase 2) continues to progress ahead of plan. Engineering, procurement and fabrication activities all are effectively complete. Both of the phase 2 ball mills have been lifted into position.

Mining crews produce a record 548,000 tonnes of ore in November as mining ramps up in advance of the phase 2 concentrator start-up

A total of 548,000 tonnes grading 5.46% copper was mined from October 21 to November 20, including 362,000 tonnes grading 6.60% copper from the Kakula mine”s high-grade centre and 63,000 tonnes grading 3.61% copper from the Kansoko mine.

Mark Farren, CEO of Kamoa Copper, commented: “Five hundred forty-eight thousand tonnes of ore mined is a major increase compared to our previous monthly record of 409,000 tonnes mined. We expect to see continued growth in monthly mine production as we introduce additional mining crews to fill the second concentrator. We remain firmly on track to start the phase 2 concentrator production in Q2 2022.”

Kamoa-Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade major copper mine, with an initial mining rate of 3.8 Mtpa at an estimated average feed grade of more than 6.0% copper over the first five years of operations and 5.9% copper over the initial 10 years of operations.

The Kamoa-Kakula copper project 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 Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) (20%).

Study work for phase 3 expansion advancing; excavation under way on a new box cut (Kamoa mine decline) to open up the Kamoa mining footprint

Farren noted: “We have made excellent progress on determining the best location of the new box cut that will be able to serve both the Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2 mines from the same infrastructure. Geotechnical and hydrological work is almost complete for the decline system and earthworks began on the box cut on Dec. 2, 2021.”

In early trading on Monday December 13, shares of Ivanhoe Mines gained $0.14 to $10.07.

 


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