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New integrated development plan reveals long-life nature of Kamoa Copper mining complex

The 2023 Independent Integrated Development Plan envisions a mine life extension beyond 2060. Ivanhoe Mines has published an updated, independent Integrated Development Plan (2023 IDP) that charts the future development plan for the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo – a globally significant copper mining operation that produces the high-grade copper metal essential for the energy transition.

The 2023 IDP encompasses two studies: A pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Phase 3 and 4 expansions of the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex, which will result in a staged increase in nameplate production up to a total of 19.2 million tonnes per annum over a 33-year life. The second study is a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) that evaluates a further nine-year extension to the mine life of the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex to 43 years overall – maintaining production from the Phase 1 to 4 concentrators beyond 2060.

“This integrated development plan demonstrates the bright future and vast potential for the Democratic Republic of Congo and its people, which is ready to become a world leader in the responsible supply of vital electric metals required by governments around the world to enact policies to combat climate change,” said Robert Friedland, Executive Co-Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines.

A proud joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (20%), Kamoa Copper’s Phases 1 and 2 are approaching the full combined processing capacity of 9.2 million tonnes per annum with the de-bottlenecking program over 90% complete, delivering increased copper production and operating cash flow to fund Phase 3 and 4 expansions.

Kamoa Copper

“While operating Phase 1 and 2 and seeking to improve on operational efficiencies, we are progressing well with the major construction activities for the Phase 3 expansion,” said Riaan Vermeulen, MD of Kamoa Copper. The Phase 3 expansion to 14.2 million tonnes per annum of processing capacity includes the ongoing construction of a new 5-million-tonne-per-annum concentrator, targeted for completion in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Ivanhoe Mines’ President, Marna Cloete said the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex had the potential to “become an example of how modern mining must be done – in partnership with local governments and communities, and with an unwavering focus on transparency and environmental, social and governance best practices.

“The Democratic Republic of Congo is blessed with exceptional hydropower potential, world-class geology, and a young, vibrant population ready to enter the workforce as the next generation of accomplished engineers, geologists and skilled technicians,” said Cloete.

The Chairman of the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper, Ben Munanga, is proud to declare that the first two phases of development of the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex, are powered by 100% green and renewable energy, from the Mwadingusha hydroelectric plant whose rehabilitation and modernisation were completed in 2021, thanks to the partnership between the National Electricity Company (SNEL) and Kamoa Copper which allowed financing of the rehabilitation.

He welcomes the good relations between SNEL and Kamoa Copper, which have extended the framework of the partnership to the rehabilitation of Group No. 5 of the Inga II hydroelectric power plant.

Kamoa Copper has generated over 12,000 jobs from its operations and construction activities, with over 95% of those positions filled by Congolese nationals. Along our 26-year journey in the DRC, we have paid over US$ 500 million to the DRC in taxes and royalties. The mine also recently paid an endowment of US$ 2,493,360.00 (0.3% of its 2021 Annual Turnover) towards the development of local community projects through a specialised body, in accordance with the mining laws and regulations of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Kamoa Copper is continuing its excellent track record of local employment and training with the construction of the Kamoa Centre of Excellence. The Centre will create a sustainable and community-focused higher learning environment, offering international degrees and diplomas in the heart of the Lualaba province in the DRC, with an inaugural intake of 40 students.

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