Canada-based Ivanhoe Mines has completed the Phase 3 concentrator construction at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The first ore was introduced into the new concentrator ahead of schedule and on budget, with the first concentrate expected next month.

Ivanhoe Mines noted that the ramp-up to commercial production is targeted in the third quarter.

The company added that the Phase 3 concentrator is designed to process ore from Kamoa 1 and 2, as well as the Kansoko underground mines.

Its design capacity is 30% larger than the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators, enhancing the total processing capacity of the complex to 14.2 million tonnes per annum (mtpa).

This expansion is set to position Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s fourth-largest copper mining complex and the largest on the African continent.

How well do you really know your competitors?

Access the most comprehensive Company Profiles on the market, powered by GlobalData. Save hours of research. Gain competitive edge.

Company Profile – free sample

Thank you!

Your download email will arrive shortly

Not ready to buy yet? Download a free sample

We are confident about the unique quality of our Company Profiles. However, we want you to make the most beneficial decision for your business, so we offer a free sample that you can download by submitting the below form

By GlobalData
Visit our Privacy Policy for more information about our services, how we may use, process and share your personal data, including information of your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.

As of 30 April 2024, Ivanhoe Mines has accumulated 2.25mt of ore with a 3.1% copper grade in surface stockpiles.

The dry commissioning of the Phase 3 concentrator began last month, followed by wet commissioning on May 26. The produced concentrate will be partially sold and partially stockpiled for the upcoming commissioning of the on-site smelter.

The new concentrate has a higher sulphuric content, reducing the external energy required for the smelter. About 70,000t of this concentrate will be stockpiled in preparation for the smelter’s start-up.

The phase three concentrator is expected to increase annual copper production to exceed 600,000t once fully operational in the third quarter of 2024.

Throughout the construction of the phase three concentrator, Ivanhoe Mines reported no lost-time injuries.

Additionally, the company is finalising the basic engineering of “Project 95,” aiming to increase the overall copper recovery rate of the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators to nearly 95%.

An updated life-of-mine plan, incorporating the Phase 3 expansion, smelter, Project 95, and further optimisations, is expected by the end of this year.

Ivanhoe Mines founder and executive co-chairman Robert Friedland said: “The Kamoa-Kakula operations team continues its industry-leading execution with the early and on-budget delivery of the phase three concentrator and underground mining operations … a rare feat in an industry plagued by cost overruns and delays when it comes to complex, world-scale projects.

“Meanwhile, we have experienced much-improved power stability over the second quarter following our team’s proactive response to grid instability experienced in the southern DRC grid.

“As a result, we’ve seen materially higher head grades and improved production over the past two months. We expect a stronger second quarter from Kamoa-Kakula’s operations, reinforcing our confidence that production will align with annual guidance.”