Ivanhoe Mines is set to complete construction of a six million tonnes per annum (Mtpa) copper mine at its $1.1bn Kamoa-Kakula Project the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after its largest shareholder CITIC Metal made an additional $454m investment into the company.

The investment made by CITIC Metal, through its subsidiary CITIC Metal Africa Investments, is its second major investment in less than a year.

Together with Ivanhoe Mines’ existing cash balance of about $512m, it will increase the company’s total cash on hand to around $1bn.

Ivanhoe noted that pro-forma cash balance is almost double the approximately $540m that is needed to be funded for the construction of the copper mine at the Kakula deposit in DRC.

Zijin Mining Group, the company’s joint venture partner in the project, is required to fund its equivalent share of around $540m of the mine’s initial capital costs.

Together they are also holding financing discussions with international export-credit agencies and equipment-finance providers.

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“The investment is a profound vote of confidence in our management, in our key stakeholders and partners, and in the promising future of the DRC.”

The investment by CITIC Metal is expected to close no later than 7 September this year, allowing Ivanhoe to proceed with construction without relying on third-party project financing.

Ivanhoe Mines co-chairman Robert Friedland said: “The investment announced today will comfortably provide Ivanhoe with the equity cushion required to fast-track Kamoa-Kakula’s 6Mtpa Phase I mine to production.

“More importantly, it also is a profound vote of confidence in our management, in our key stakeholders and partners, and in the promising future of the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Africa.”

Ivanhoe also partnered La Générale des Carrières et des Mines to upgrade the Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine in the DRC.

Additionally, it is developing the Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-gold discovery in South Africa.