Ivanhoe Reports Record Quarterly Production for Kamoa-Kakula

Installation of the first of the two ball mills has commenced at the Phase 3 concentrator site.
(Photo: Ivanhoe Mines)
Ivanhoe Mines reported that the Kamoa- Kakula Copper Complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) produced a record 103,947 metric tons (mt) of copper in concentrate during Q3 2023. The complex milled 2.24 million mt of ore during the quarter at an average grade of 5.55% copper. The Phase 1 and 2 concentrators are currently operating at a capacity of 9.2 million mt/y.

Kamoa-Kakula’s year-to-date production now totals 301,336 mt of copper in concentrate, and Ivanhoe expects to meet its annual guidance of 390,000 to 430,000 mt of copper in concentrate. “Kamoa-Kakula continues to set records and outperform our expectations, with continued strong performance in terms of throughput, grade and recovery at the Phase 1 and Phase 2 plants,” said Ivanhoe Mines Founder and Executive Co-Chair Robert Friedland. “This has all been achieved despite ongoing challenges presented by electrical grid instability, where we now have a plan in place with the Congolese national utility to materially improve reliability across the network for all users over the next year. Meanwhile, the successful connection of the Kamoa 1 and Kansoko underground declines marks a major milestone for the Phase 3 expansion.”

Kamoa-Kakula’s high- and mediumgrade ore surface stockpiles totaled approximately 4.1 million mt at an estimated grade of 3.55% copper as of the end of September 2023. The operation mined 2.18 million mt of ore grading 5.31% copper in Q3 2023, which was comprised of 2 million mt grading 5.57% copper from the Kakula mine, including 1 million mt grading 7.10% copper from the mine’s high-grade center. Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 expansion, consisting of two new underground mines known as Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2 and a new, 5-million-mt/y concentrator, is well on track for first production in Q4 2024. The expansion also includes the integration of Africa’s largest direct-to-blister flash smelter, which will have a capacity of 500,000 mt/y of copper and will be constructed on-site at Kakula.

Underground mining activities are expected to commence at Kamoa 1 in late 2023 and Kamoa 2 in 2025. Both new underground mines will use the same mechanized mining methods employed at the current Kakula mine. In addition, the Phase 3 concentrator will use the same, upscaled process design as that used by the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators. It is now approximately 56% complete.

As featured in Womp 2023 Vol 10 - www.womp-int.com