Ivanhoe Mines sees robust economics at DRC copper mine

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Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. [IVN-TSX; IVPAF-OTCQX] on Tuesday September 8 announced the results of an independent definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the development of its huge Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The DFS, together with results from an updated prefeasibility study (PFS), provide more evidence that Kamoa-Kakula has the potential to become the world’s second largest copper mine, with annual output of more than 800,000 tonnes, the company said in a press release.

It said the feasibility study is an independent verification by nine of the world’s top engineering firms of the robust economics generated by an initial 6.0 million tonne/year starter pit at Kakula where the expected ore feed grade is 6.6% copper. Mine site cash costs are forecast at US$0.48/lb in the first five years of production.

The PFS evaluates mining of 1.6 million tonnes annually from the nearby Kansoko mine, in addition to feed from Kakula that would fill a 7.6 million tonne/year processing plant at Kakula.

“Most importantly, the Kakula mine has been designed to produce the world’s most environmentally responsible copper, which is crucial for today’s new generation of environmentally and socially-focused investors,” said Ivanhoe co-Chairman Robert Friedland.

Kamoa-Kakula will advance in stages until it has four producing mines on site with combined output of 19 million tonnes annually.

Ivanhoe shares eased 0.18% or $0.01 to $5.50 on volume of 890,030.

Ivanhoe is led by Singapore-based mine financier Robert Friedland, who holds a 17% interest in the company. CITIC Metal Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of the Chinese state-owned CITIC Group, recently agreed to invest an additional $612 million in Ivanhoe at $3.98 a share, raising its stake in Ivanhoe to 29.9% from just under 20%.

The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), China’s Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Ltd. (0.8%), and the DRC government (20%).

The Kamoa Deposit is one of two large, near-surface, flat-lying, stratiform copper deposits. The other major deposit – Kakula is being fast-tracked to commercial production, with the initial 3.8 million tonne/year mining operation scheduled to produce first concentrate in Q3 2021.


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