Kamoa-Kakula sets new ore production record in March
(Kitco News) - Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) announced today that underground ore production at the Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) mined and stockpiled a record 400,000 tonnes of ore grading 5.36% copper from the Kakula and Kansoko mines in March. This tonnage was 18% higher than the 339,000 tonnes mined and stockpiled in February.
According to the statement, 400,000 tonnes mined in March comprised 364,100 tonnes grading 5.52% copper from the Kakula mine, including 100,000 tonnes grading 8.70% copper from the mine’s high-grade centre, and 36,000 tonnes grading 3.78% copper from the Kansoko mine.
The project’s pre-production surface stockpiles now contain approximately 2.56 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated blended average of 4.60% copper. Contained copper in the stockpiles increased by approximately 21,500 tonnes in March – to a cumulative total of more than 117,000 tonnes (the current copper price is approximately US$9,100 a tonne).
Ivanhoe added that Kamoa-Kakula is on track to substantially exceed the 3.0 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade stockpiled ore, holding more than 125,000 tonnes of contained copper, that the 2020 pre-feasibility study projected would be stockpiled prior to the planned start of processing in July 2021.
Kamoa-Kakula also set a fresh monthly mine development record in March, with an advancement of more than 3,100 metres, bringing total underground development to approximately 38.6 kilometres – around 13.5 kilometres ahead of schedule.
Phase 1 copper production from the Kakula Mine is scheduled to begin in July 2021. Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade major copper mine, with an initial mining rate of 3.8 Mtpa at an estimated early average feed grade of more than 6.0% copper, ramping up to 7.6 Mtpa in Q3 2022.
The Kamoa-Kakula copper project is a 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%).