Kakula-Kamoa’s World Class Potential

Construction of the twin declines is well under way to provide access to the Kakula Discovery’s high-grade copper.
Ivanhoe Mines has reported the results of a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) of its Kakula-Kamoa copper project in Democratic Republic of Congo (Congo). The project features exceptionally high-grade ore and if carried through to completion as currently envisioned, it will take its place among the world’s largest mines.

The Kakula-Kamoa PEA is based on current copper resources and analyzes an initial two-stage, modular, 12-million- mt/y mining operation supplied by two adjacent 6-million-mt/y mines, which would feed concentrates to a direct- to-blister smelter. Mine life is estimated at more than 44 years.

The Kamoa-Kakula project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group and the Congo government. The Kakula orebody would produce an average grade of 6.4% copper over the first 10 years of operations and 5.5% copper over a 24-year mine life.

An initial 6-million-mt/y copper mine at Kakula can be developed for an estimated $1.2 billion. Subsequent mine development and the smelter can be funded from cash flows from that mine or project finance. Combined production of 12 million mt/y from two mines would rank Kamoa-Kakula among the world’s five largest copper mining operations, with projected annual production of more than 500,000 mt of copper.

Ivanhoe will explore acceleration options for building the first two mines concurrently and also the potential for expanding mine production to 18 million mt/y and beyond.

The Ivanhoe announcement emphasized that the PEA does not factor in the Kamoa-Kakula property’s Kakula West discovery, nor does it factor in ongoing drilling programs on new targets at Kamoa- Kakula or on the company’s 100% owned Western Forelands exploration area. Additional exploration success could have a significant influence on the ultimate size, value, and timing of the overall development plan. As such, the Kamoa-Kakula development plans described in the PEA will be reassessed and amended as the project moves forward to reflect ongoing exploration results.

Ivanhoe’s Kamoa-Kakula announcement describes each of the three potential mine-development scenarios in considerable detail, as well as capital costs, metallurgical test work, concentrator and smelter design, and transportation routes to international markets.

As featured in Womp 2018 Vol 02 - www.womp-int.com