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Ivanhoe Mines restarts century-old Kipushi mine after 31-year hiatus

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) (OTCQX: IVPAF) has announced the completion of construction and the restart of the Kipushi mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), which produces zinc, copper, lead, and germanium.

This comes 100 years after the mine first began operations and 31 years after it was placed on care and maintenance.

According to the company, the first ore was delivered to the Kipushi concentrator on May 31, with the first concentrate produced on June 14.

Kipushi has set its 2024 production guidance at between 100,000 and 140,000 tonnes of zinc in concentrate.

The Kipushi zinc production capacity is expected to average 278,000 tonnes per annum over the first five years, making Kipushi the fourth-largest zinc mine globally.

World’s top 10 zinc mines estimated for 2025, by paid zinc production per annum (‘000 tonnes) with head grade (% zinc).

Ivanhoe Mines said off-take agreements for Kipushi’s high-grade zinc concentrate have been signed with CITIC Metal (HK) Limited of Hong Kong and Trafigura Asia Trading of Singapore. Further off-take agreements are expected to be signed in the coming months.

In addition, financing facilities totaling $170 million provided by CITIC Metal, Trafigura and First Bank DRC of Kinshasa, DRC have been arranged, with $50 million drawn to date.

“Returning the historic Kipushi mine to production alongside our DRC State-owned JV partner Gécamines marks a century after Kipushi’s first operations. The rebirth of the mine is a major and state-of-the-art achievement for our operations team, the people of the DRC, and the local community in Kipushi town.”

“With the construction and first concentrate milestones delivered substantially ahead of schedule, Kipushi will be one of the world’s leading producers of high-grade, low-emissions zinc and associated metals,” Ivanhoe Mines’ founder and executive co-chairperson Robert Friedland said.

Kipushi Corporation SA (KICO) is 68% owned by Kipushi Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines, with the remaining 32% of KICO owned by Gécamines.

Source: MINING.COM – Read More