Kamoa-Kakula mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo has reported a new daily production record of 729 tonnes of copper; approximately 63,000 tonnes of copper produced year-to-date to October 20, 2021.
Ivanhoe Mines Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun announced that Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1, 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator plant has met, or exceeded, all design criteria and now is operating at steady-state. Optimization work is underway to further enhance the plant’s operating performance.
A total of 323,368 tonnes of ore was milled in October at an average feed grade of 5.89% copper, exceeding the monthly design run rate of 316,667 tonnes. Production during the last 10 days of October averaged 611 tonnes of copper in concentrate per day. On October 25, a new daily production record of 729 tonnes of copper in concentrate was achieved.
A record 16,211 tonnes of copper in concentrate was produced (filtered product) in the reporting month ended October 20 – Kamoa Copper’s fifth full month of production -nearing the Phase 1 target output of 16,666 tonnes per month, or 200,000 tonnes per annum.
Average floated concentrate copper grade
The average floated concentrate copper grade in October was 51.5%. A total of 62,974 tonnes of copper in concentrate had been produced year-to-date as of October 20, 2021, for delivery to either the Lualaba Copper Smelter near Kolwezi, or to international markets.
Copper flotation recoveries averaged 85.1% in October. The Phase 1, steady-state-design copper recovery is approximately 86%, depending on ore feed grade. As the Phase 1 concentrator plant is operating at steady-state design capacity, further production updates will be provided only on a quarterly basis, but reporting on Phase 2 construction progress will continue. Ivanhoe Mines will report its Q3 2021 financial results before market open on Monday, November 15, 2021, which will include the inaugural quarterly financial results for Kamoa-Kakula.
Phase 2 concentrator plant construction is approximately 60% complete, with current focus on structural steel, mechanical, piping and platework (SMPP); electrical installation now underway. On October 22, 2021, the project construction team reached 4.0 million lost-time-injury-free hours. This milestone underscores the strict safety culture of the Kamoa Copper construction team and contractors.
Construction of the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant (Phase 2) is progressing well, with the overall project approximately 60% complete; engineering and procurement activities are effectively complete, with fabrication over 92% complete.
The main construction focus remains on the erection of structural steel and the installation of platework and equipment. Both ball mills have been lifted into position and installation of the girth gears currently is underway. The mill installation is expected to be complete by the end of the year. All 14 flotation cells (eight rougher/scavengers and six cleaners) are in position. Electrical cable installation has commenced.
The bulk of the 2,193 tonnes of structural steel and 570 tonnes of platework is on site and the majority of the 18,644 metres of piping is en route to site. The last deliveries of structural steel, piping and platework are expected to arrive by the end of November. More than 550 truckloads of Phase 2 construction equipment and materials already have been delivered to site and another 31 truckloads are en route. All 14 flotation cells for the Phase 2 concentrator have been installed.