Biggest copper mining project in decades begins production – by Cecilia Jamasmie ( – May 26, 2021)

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) has begun producing copper concentrate at its Kamoa-Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) months ahead of schedule as the metal continues to trade close to all-time highs.

Kakula, the first mine planned at the concession, is initially forecast to generate 3.8 million tonnes of ore a year at an average feed grade “well in excess of 6% copper” over the first five years of operation, the company said.

Ivanhoe and partner Zijin Mining said first ore was introduced into the concentrator plant on May 20 to perform initial hot commissioning tests on the ball mills and other processing equipment.

As of May 25, 5% to 6% of copper ore was being conveyed directly from Kakula’s underground mining operations to the run-of-mine stockpile and the concentrator.

Ivanhoe’s co-chairperson Robert Friedland described first production from Kamoa-Kakula as a “historic moment” for Ivanhoe and the DRC. The country’s President, Felix Tshisekedi, said it was a clear sign that the country was open for business and investment.

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