Records fly as Kamoa’s Phase 2 concentrator ramps up

In May, Kamoa Copper milled 660,000 tonnes of ore at an average feed grade of 5.5% copper. Image credit: Ivanhoe Mines

Records fly as Kamoa’s Phase 2 concentrator ramps up  

With Kamoa Copper’s Phase 2 concentrator in steady state ahead of schedule, the mine, owned by Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining, Crystal River Group, and the Government of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), has produced a record 29,800 tonnes of copper in May 2022.

Kamoa Copper successfully declared early commissioning of the Phase 2 concentrator plant in April this year. The first ore was introduced into the Phase 2 milling circuit in March.

First copper concentrate was produced approximately four months ahead of the originally announced development schedule and the Phase 2 plant is now consistently operating at comparable throughputs and recoveries to the Phase 1 plant.

Kamoa Copper management anticipates that the accelerated ramp-up of the Phase 2 concentrator plant positions the operation to deliver in the upper end of its 2022 copper production guidance of 290,000 to 340,000 tonnes.

New monthly record at the Complex

Kamoa set a new monthly production record in May, producing 29,800 tonnes of copper in concentrate from the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex.

Kamoa achieved record monthly production despite planned interruptions during the month, which included scheduled maintenance on the Phase 1 concentrator plant for two days.

During the month, Kamoa Copper milled 660,000 tonnes of ore at an average feed grade of 5.5% copper. The Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants are currently processing at a combined annualised rate of approximately 8 million tonnes of ore – about 9% above nameplate capacity and are expected to ramp up to 9.2 million tonnes per year of ore by the second quarter of 2023. This will increase the company’s annual copper production to more than 450,000 tonnes and will rank Kamoa Copper as the world’s fourth-largest copper producer.

According to Ivanhoe Mines Founder & Co-Chairperson Robert Friedland Kamoa Copper’s accomplishments also demonstrate the great potential and strategic importance of the DRC in the world today.

“As we electrify the world economy, which will require a historic quantity of copper and many other vital metals. Kamoa Copper is proof that the country’s vast mineral and hydropower potential can be realised to provide long-lasting economic and social benefits for the Congolese people,” says Friedland.

Construction of new declines nearing completion

Meanwhile, construction of the Phase 3 box cut is nearing completion. Engineering and construction work for the Phase 3 expansion, including a new box cut and twin declines to access new mining areas, are progressing quickly.

Phase 3 will consist of two new underground mines known as Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2, as well as the initial decline development at Kakula West.

A third 5 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator plant will be established adjacent to the two new mines at Kamoa. Construction on the new box cut is nearing completion at the Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2 mines, with decline development well underway to provide access to the main Phase 3 mining areas.

Phase 3 is expected to increase copper production capacity to about 600,000 tonnes per year by the fourth quarter of 2024.

Watch: Kamoa Copper achieves record monthly copper production in May 2022 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=phUYGcjvMjw

Records fly as Kamoa’s Phase 2 concentrator ramps up

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