Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN); OTCQX: IVPAF) put a record 338,000 tonnes of ore grading 5.5% copper on the pre-production stockpile at its Kamoa-Kakula copper project in Democratic Republic of the Congo. The tonnage was 13% more ore than was mined in January.
The total tonnage milestone was reached despite the scheduled conveyor belt changeover to the permanent configuration at Kakula.
In February the company mined 338,000 tonnes of ore grading 5.5% copper from the Kakula and Kansoko mines. The Kakula mine produced 107,000 tonnes grading 9.0% copper from the high grade centre of the deposit. The Kansoko reached a new monthly record output of 47,300 tonnes grading 4.62% copper.
Ivanhoe says the surface stockpiles of blended high and medium grade ore are estimated to contain 125,000 tonnes copper.
Underground development for drift-and-fill mining in February totaled 2,798 metres, to total 35.5 kilometres, about 12.4 kilometres ahead of schedule. Mineral processing is to begin in July 2021 producing 3.8 million lb. copper per year.
The company is also making plans for an expansion to 7.6 million tonnes of copper annually beginning in Q3 2022. The expansion has an after-tax net present value (8%) of US.$11.1 billion and an internal rate of return of 56.2% at a long term copper price of US$3.10 per lb. Rising copper prices will, of course, increase both these values.