Copper production at the Kamoa-Kakula mines was more than 500mt/ day on occasions in July, nearing the Phase 1 steady-state design capacity of around 550mt/day or 200,000mt in a year, stated Ivanhoe Mines’ Q2 results release.
Canada-based Ivanhoe mines is expanding three mining projects in Southern Africa: The Kamoa-Kakula copper mining complex, the Platreef palladium-rhodium-platinum-nickel-copper-gold discovery and the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine. Ivanhoe is also considering new copper discoveries on its Western Foreland exploration licenses in the Democratic Republic of Congo which houses the Kamua-Kakula and the Kipushi mines.
Production in Kamoa-Kakula began in May, this year and the project achieved commercial production on July 1, 2021.
The overall phase-1 progress at Kamua-Kakula was almost complete by Q2, 2021 with the backfill plant being the only major outstanding construction activity.
Around 500,000mt of ore had been milled by early August and copper production has also increased since hot commissioning began at the end of May. The company is working to shift its focus from the front-end crushing and milling circuit to balancing and optimizing the flotation and regrind milling areas. This could further improve concentrate grade and recovery.
Copper recoveries increased from approximately 70pc in June to 81pc in July.
The Kamua-Kakula Project produced contained copper concentrates of around 9,858mt as of June 30. Ore stockpiles are currently around 3.54mn mt grading 4.77pc copper, containing more than 168,000mt of copper.
The project’s combined medium-grade and high-grade ore mined was around 409,000mt at an average grade of 5.71pc copper in April, around 406,000 mt at an average grade of 5.77pc of copper in May; and approximately 338,000mt at an average grade of 4.59pc copper in June.
The project’s total pre-production high and medium-grade ore surface stockpiles to around 3.40mn mt at an estimated grade of 4.78pc copper as of June-end.
In July, a total of 414,000mt grading 5.16pc copper was mined and comprised 367,000mt grading 5.29pc copper from the Kakula mine.