Kamoa Produces More Copper Concentrate

The second filter press at Kamoa Copper began operating on October 3 and has already generated more copper concentrate than originally planned. The second filter press enables Kamoa’s Phase 1 concentrator to take advantage of the unusually high-grade copper ore being processed directly from Kakula’s underground mining operations and surface stockpiles. “Kamoa Copper’s Phase 1 milling and flotation capacity has demonstrated to be in excess of design parameters,” said Steve Amos, head of projects. “As such, the additional filter press enables Kamoa to take advantage of the extra mill throughput to produce more copper than the estimated design output of approximately 200,000 metric tons per year (mt/y).”

During initial commissioning of the second filter press, a new daily production record of 721 mt of copper in filtered concentrate was achieved on October 4. The Phase 1 copper concentrator produced a run-rate throughput of 12,600 mt of ore per day, since the previous reporting month, which is 10.5% greater than the planned throughput of approximately 11,400 mt per day. Furthermore, the development of Kamoa Copper’s Phase 2 concentrator plant, which is planned to double copper production to almost 400,000 mt/y, is proceeding ahead of schedule. The project team is expecting the Phase 2 concentrator plant to start operations in the second quarter of 2022.

The Phase 2 concentrator plant, which has a capacity of 3.8 million mt/y, is a replica of the Phase 1 concentrator plant, and is being built alongside the Phase 1 plant. Amos said, “Kamoa has a third filter press on order that will be installed as part of the Phase 2 concentrator expansion.” The Phase 2 concentrator was more than half completed by the end of September. “The Congolese mining industry has a very bright future indeed,” Ivanhoe Founder and Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland said. “Having raised the bar for construction delivery, Kamoa Copper is setting its sights on raising the environmental, social and governance bar for the ultra-low-carbon copper production our world desperately needs for the energy transformation. We have all the pieces to do just that. We have the right team, the right stakeholders and are proud to be doing this in partnership with the DRC government.”

By the end of September, Kamoa Copper had surface ore stockpiles of roughly 3.66 million mt grading 4.73% copper, containing more than 173,000 mt of copper, which will facilitate a seamless and efficient transition to steady-state production for the Phase 2 concentrator in 2022. In a COVID-19 world where mining, infrastructure, and other industrial projects are routinely massively delayed, hindered by supply bottlenecks and predictably subject to significant cost overruns, Kamoa Copper is proud that its accomplishments are ahead of schedule and on budget.

As featured in Womp 2021 Vol 11 - www.womp-int.com