The $700 million undertaking is predicted to hurry alongside Ivanhoe’s ambition to provide environmentally sustainable ‘inexperienced copper’ to feed into the rising international power transition.
The smelter, equipped by Finland’s Metso Autotec, has been sized to course of a lot of the copper focus forecast to be produced by Kamoa-Kakula’s Section 1, 2 and three concentrators.
The smelter is predicted to be constructed concurrently with the undertaking’s Section 3 mine and concentrator enlargement over the following three years and the upgrading of turbine 5 on the Inga II hydropower complicated.
Ivanhoe says an onsite smelting facility has compelling value and environmental advantages, together with lowering the amount of copper focus shipped from the mine by about 50%-plus and the related logistics prices, export taxes and focus therapy prices.
The smelter additionally will produce sulphuric acid as a by-product, creating a brand new income stream for Kamoa Copper. In keeping with Ivanhoe, there’s a sturdy demand and marketplace for sulphuric acid within the DRC to get better copper from oxide ores.
Kamoa-Kakula at present is producing a particularly high-grade, clear copper focus containing roughly 55% copper and low ranges of arsenic by world requirements – about 0.01%. Roughly 35% of Kamoa-Kakula’s Section 1 focus is shipped to the native Lualaba smelter for processing into blister copper ingots – containing roughly 99% copper – whereas the rest is transported by way of vehicles and ships to worldwide smelters for therapy.
Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade main copper mine, with an preliminary mining fee of three.8 million tonnes each year at an estimated common feed grade of greater than 6% copper over the primary 5 years of operations and 5.9% copper over the preliminary 10 years of operations.
Section 1 is predicted to provide about 200,000 tonnes of copper per yr, whereas the Section 2 enlargement is forecast to extend manufacturing to about 400,000 tonnes of copper yearly. Kamoa Copper is on monitor to finish the Section 2 enlargement within the second quarter of 2022.
Based mostly on unbiased benchmarking, the undertaking’s phased enlargement situation to 19 million tonnes each year would place Kamoa-Kakula because the world’s second-largest copper mining complicated, with peak annual copper manufacturing of greater than 800,000 tonnes.
The operation yielded its maiden profit within the first full quarter of operations. On November 15, the corporate reported a revenue of $85.4 million for the three months to September 30.
The Kamoa-Kakula undertaking is a three way partnership between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River International Restricted (0.8%) and the Authorities of the DRC (20%).