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Ivanhoe eyes higher copper output at Kamoa-Kakula

Canada’s Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) produced 393,551 tonnes of copper last year at its flagship Kamoa-Kakula complex in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, up 18% from 2022 levels and it expects to churn out between 440,000 and 490,000 tonnes of the metal this year.

The targets for 2024 should be reached following the anticipated completion of the 5-million-tonne-per-annum Phase 3 concentrator during the third quarter of 2024, executive co-chair Robert Friedland and President Marna Cloete said in the statement.

The news followed the announcement last week of first shipment of copper concentrate from the DRC complex arriving to the port of Lobito, in Angola. 

The trial run showed that Ivanhoe could shorten its export route from Kamoa-Kakula by two thirds, simplifying logistics and cutting costs. 

The company also noted that a daily milling record was achieved on Jan. 1, 2024, as 31,084 tonnes of ore were processed by the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators over 24 hours. This is equivalent to an annual milling rate of 10.4 million tonnes, they said.

Kamoa Copper has been working with DRC’s state-owned power company, La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL), to identify the causes of the instability across the southern DRC’s grid infrastructure and to identify long-lasting solutions.

SNEL and Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC, a subsidiary of Kamoa Holding Limited, signed in December an amendment to the existing financing agreement to cover identified infrastructure upgrades. The original financing agreement consisted of a loan of up to $250 million for the refurbishment of 78 megawatts (MW) of generation capacity at the Mwadingusha dam and 178 MW of generation capacity from Turbine #5 at the Inga II dam. The refurbishment of the Mwadingusha facility was completed in September 2021, and the refurbishment of Turbine #5 at Inga II is on schedule to be completed in the fourth quarter of 2024, the company said.

Changes to the financing agreement expand the loan up to a total of $450 million, which will be assigned specifically to grid infrastructure upgrades.

The Vancouver-based miner said it would issue 2023 financial results and host a conference call for investors on February 26.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More