Ivanhoe Mines Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun are pleased to announce that the Kamoa-Kakula Mining Complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo has set a new quarterly production record in the second quarter of 2022, with 87,314 tonnes of copper in concentrate produced.
Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 3.8-million-tonne-per-annum concentrator plants produced 30,379 tonnes of copper in concentrate during June 2022. This performance marks the third consecutive month that Kamoa-Kakula has surpassed its throughput design capacity of 7.6 million tonnes per annum, following the commissioning of Phase 2.
Kamoa Copper milled approximately 1.95 million ore tonnes during the second quarter at an average feed grade of 5.44% copper. Copper recoveries were averaging more than 86% during June 2022, with feed grades averaging approximately 5.5% copper.
Ongoing mining optimization work at the Kakula Mine is targeting improved head grade during the second half of 2022 towards 6% copper. Kamoa Copper is also evaluating additional material handling capacity at Kakula to increase mining rates to feed the de-bottlenecked Phase 1 and 2 processing capacity of 9.2 million tonnes per year, which will be incorporated into the Phase 3 expansion Pre-Feasibility Study scheduled for release in the second half of 2022.
The Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants are approaching a combined annualized production rate of approximately 400,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate. The de-bottlenecking program is on track to boost Kamoa Copper’s annual production to approximately 450,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate per year by the second quarter of 2023.
Management anticipates that the early commissioning of the Phase 2 concentrator plant in March 2022, approximately four months ahead of schedule, will enable Kamoa Copper to deliver in the upper range of its 2022 production guidance of 290,000 to 340,000 tonnes of copper in concentrate.
Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants produced a record 30,379 tonnes of copper in June 2022. Kamoa Copper is approaching a copper production rate of 400,000 tonnes per year.
Mr. Friedland commented: “Kamoa Copper continues to deliver industry-leading operational performance with the rapid advancement of Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants, which now are approaching a production rate of 400,000 tonnes copper per year. We will continue this track record of excellence as we realize the vast potential across the Kamoa-Kakula Mining Complex, which will be operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo for generations.
“Kamoa-Kakula is on pace to be the world’s third-largest copper mining complex by the end of 2024, with the Phase 3 expansion expected to boost total copper production to approximately 600,000 tonnes per annum. We are already among the ranks of the world’s major copper producers … a metal the world vitally requires for conventional energy and industry, as well as the long-term shift to green energy and electrification. We are at an inflection point for the copper industry … one where we must meet substantial demand growth over the coming decades, even as discovering and building new mines has become more challenging and more complex.
“The supply-demand landscape for the copper market remains extremely clear despite any short-term market fluctuations and policy-driven demand destruction. Kamoa-Kakula will be an integral part of the supply solution, but we will need astronomically higher global copper production to solve the ongoing energy crisis and complete the vital transition to green energy.”