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Miners at Kamoa-Kakula hauled a batch of 8.6% copper ore

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(Kitco News) - Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) (OTCQX: IVPAF) announced Wednesday that commissioning and ramp up of the Kamoa-Kakula Phase 1, 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator plant have progressed safely and quickly toward nameplate capacity. Kamoa-Kakula's initial copper concentrate was produced on May 25th. The team currently is busy with hot commissioning and ramp up of the concentrator.

The company said that a total of 406,000 tonnes grading 5.77% copper was mined in May and comprised 365,000 tonnes grading 5.89% copper from the Kakula mine, including 103,000 tonnes grading 8.58% copper from the mine's high-grade centre, and 41,000 tonnes grading 4.68% copper from the Kansoko mine.

The ore mined in May contained a record 23,400 tonnes of copper. Approximately 20,600 tonnes of contained copper was delivered to the surface stockpiles and the balance was delivered directly to the concentrator plant.

Ivanhoe's guidance for contained copper in concentrate expected to be produced by Kamoa-Kakula for the balance of 2021 is 80,000 to 95,000 tonnes.

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.

Phase 1 is expected to produce approximately 200,000 tonnes of copper per year, and phases 1 and 2 combined are forecast to produce approximately 400,000 tonnes of copper per year. Based on independent benchmarking, the project's phased expansion scenario to 19 Mtpa would position Kamoa-Kakula as the world's second largest copper mining complex, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 tonnes, the company said.

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%).

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