Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; US-OTC: IVPAF) says part of the proceeds from the recently completed US$575 million, 2.50% convertible senior notes offering will be used to accelerate the Phase 3 expansion at the Kamoa-Kakula copper mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
According to the company, fast-tracking additional hydropower upgrades in the DRC also is a high-priority opportunity to ensure clean and renewable electricity for all subsequent expansions at Kamoa-Kakula.
“The company will now look to further increase production at our Kamoa-Kakula copper joint-venture, and to accelerate the Phase 3 concentrator expansion from 7.6 million tonnes per annum to 11.4 million tonnes per annum,” co-chairman Robert Friedland said in a media statement. “Together with our partner Zijin Mining, we have already accelerated the Phase 2 expansion to begin production in Q3 2022 and bring copper production to approximately 400,000 tonnes, or approximately 880 million pounds, per year.”
Friedland said that the Phase 3 expansion would bring copper production at Kamoa-Kakula up to approximately 530,000 tonnes, or approximately 1.2 billion pounds per year.
“Our company is about to make the long-fought transition from an explorer and developer to becoming a major diversified mining company,” the executive said. “It has been a remarkable journey for Kamoa-Kakula and Platreef; to grow from grassroots discoveries to imminently joining the ranks of the world’s largest producers of copper, platinum-group metals and nickel.”
At present, Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1, 3.8-Mtpa concentrator is nearing completion, with the civil works for the second 3.8 million tonne per year concentrator (Phase 2) advancing rapidly. At the same time, the second stage commissioning of the Phase 1 ball mills and the concrete foundations for the second set of ball mills for the Phase 2 concentrator are underway.
Kamoa-Kakula has been independently ranked as the world’s fourth-largest copper deposit by Wood Mackenzie. Its updated resource estimate shows that it holds 1.4 billion indicated tonnes grading 2.74% copper for 83.7 billion pounds of copper and another 339 million inferred tonnes grading 1.68% copper for 12.5 billion pounds of copper at a 1% cut-off grade.
According to Friedland, as infrastructure projects are being completed on the property, the recently obtained funding will also be used to expand and accelerate a copper exploration program on the company’s Western Foreland exploration licences, located in close proximity to the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence.