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Canadian explorer Ivanhoe Mines’ joint venture Kakula copper mine in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) will produce its first copper within a year, the company said in a statement.

The underground development at the mine has exceeded 1,842 meters in August, bringing the total underground development area to over 20.6km, 6km ahead of schedule.

The company also stated that the installation of ball mills and other major equipment for Kakula’s first 3.8mn mt per-annum processing plant is underway with full swing. The initial production has been scheduled for Q3 2021. Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade major copper mine.

The mine is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River Global Limited, and the DRC government. 

Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining Group hold 39.6pc share each, while The DRC government holds 20pc, and Crystal River Global Limited holds 0.8pc.

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