On 10 June 2022, Kamoa Copper announced a new monthly production record for May, producing 29,800 tonnes of copper in concentrate from the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

During the month, Kamoa Copper milled 660,000 tonnes of ore at an average feed grade of 5.5% copper.

The Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants are currently processing at a combined annualised rate of approximately 8 million tonnes of ore – about 9% above nameplate capacity and are expected to ramp up to 9.2 million tonnes per year of ore by the second quarter of 2023.

This will increase the company’s annual copper production to more than 450,000 tonnes and will rank Kamoa Copper as the world’s fourth-largest copper producer.

Kamoa Copper successfully declared early commissioning of the Phase 2 concentrator plant on 7 April 2022, while the first ore was introduced into the Phase 2 milling circuit on 21 March 2022. First copper concentrate was produced approximately four months ahead of the originally announced development schedule and the Phase 2 plant is now consistently operating at comparable throughputs and recoveries to the Phase 1 plant.

Kamoa Copper management anticipates that the accelerated ramp-up of the Phase 2 concentrator plant positions the operation to deliver in the upper end of its 2022 copper production guidance of 290,000 to 340,000 tonnes.

Ivanhoe Mines Founder & Co-Chairperson Robert Friedland commented, “Together with our joint-venture partner, Zijin Mining, and alongside the Congolese nation, we have resolved to fast-track expansions at the Kamoa Copper Mining Complex to meet rising worldwide demand for the responsibly-produced copper metal.

“Kamoa Copper’s accomplishments also demonstrate the great potential and strategic importance of the Democratic Republic of Congo as we electrify the world economy, which will require a historic quantity of copper and many other vital metals. Kamoa Copper is proof that the country’s vast mineral and hydropower potential can be realised to provide long-lasting economic and social benefits for the Congolese people.”

Kamoa’s annual copper production is set grow to more than 450,000 tonnes – ranking them as the world's fourth-largest copper producer. Image credit: Kamoa Copper SA

Kamoa’s annual copper production is set grow to more than 450,000 tonnes – ranking them as the world’s fourth-largest copper producer. Image credit: Kamoa Copper SA

Construction of Phase 3 box cut nearing completion

 Engineering and construction work for the Phase 3 expansion, including a new box cut and twin declines to access new mining areas, are progressing quickly. Phase 3 will consist of two new underground mines known as Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2, as well as the initial decline development at Kakula West. A third 5 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator plant will be established adjacent to the two new mines at Kamoa.

Construction on the new box cut is nearing completion at the Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2 mines, with decline development well underway to provide access to the main Phase 3 mining areas.

Phase 3 is expected to increase copper production capacity to about 600,000 tonnes per year by the fourth quarter of 2024.