TORONTO, CANADA ‒ Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) announced its financial results for the quarter ended March 31, 2020. Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company advancing its three mining projects in Southern Africa: the Kamoa-Kakula copper discovery in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC); the Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-gold-rhodium discovery in South Africa; and the extensive upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine, also in the DRC.
The company also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its wholly-owned Western Foreland exploration licences, adjacent to the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence. All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.
■Development of the Kakula Copper Mine, the first of multiple, planned mining areas at the Kamoa-Kakula Project, is making excellent progress. The first underground access drives intersected Kakula’s initial high-grade ore zone (+8% copper) in April. Ivanhoe and its joint-venture partner Zijin Mining are advancing rapidly on construction of the 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) processing plant and other surface infrastructure. Initial copper concentrate production is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.
■In parallel with the construction of the Kakula Copper Mine, the independent Kakula definitive feasibility study (DFS) and an updated Integrated Development Plan for the entire Kamoa-Kakula mining complex also remain on schedule for Q3 2020. The Kakula DFS will provide a high level of accuracy for the project economics for Kakula’s initial phase of mine development, as most construction contracts and orders for significant capital items have been placed at fixed prices. The Integrated Development Plan will include details on the planned expansion phases for the entire Kamoa-Kakula mining complex.
■In early March, Ivanhoe in conjunction with its joint-venture partners implemented strict quarantine and lock-down procedures to ensure the well-being of its employees and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on its operations. The Kamoa-Kakula minesite has been locked down and all key personnel are on site; as a result, mine development at Kamoa-Kakula has continued uninterrupted. Mine development work at the Platreef Project was temporarily suspended in late March in compliance with the country-wide lock down imposed by the South African Government. Operations at Platreef resumed in late April with reduced staffing levels and stringent safety protocols. Mine development operations at Kipushi remain temporarily suspended in order to reduce the risk to the workforce and local communities.
■In April, Ivanhoe announced cost-reduction initiatives to generate cash savings of up to $75 million through 2021, including reducing discretionary spending at the company’s projects, lowering general and administrative costs, voluntary salary reduction for senior management, and deferral of certain exploration activities. The savings will be directed towards developing the Kakula Mine to commercial production on schedule and on budget.
■Underground development at the Kakula Copper Mine continues to advance ahead of schedule and more than 14.4 kilometres of underground development now has been completed ─ 4.4 kilometres ahead of plan. The pace of development is expected to continue to accelerate as additional mining crews are mobilized.
■In April, crews at Kakula began mining ore in areas with a grade of greater than 8% copper. This ore is being stockpiled on a dedicated high-grade surface stockpile, which is forecast to contain 105,000 tonnes grading 5.95% copper by the end of May, 2020. Kakula’s medium-grade ore stockpile is forecast to contain an additional 250,000 tonnes at 3.01% copper. The high-grade stockpile is projected to significantly expand in the coming months as the majority of Kakula’s underground development will be in mining zones grading +5% copper.
■Construction of Kakula’s processing plant is progressing well with more than 9,000 cubic metres of concrete poured. Fabrication of structural steel, processing plant components, and the ball mills is underway. Long-lead-time items for the processing plant have started to arrive on site, and the ball mills are scheduled for arrival in mid-2020.
■Refurbishment of six turbines at the Mwadingusha hydro-electric power plant and associated 220-kilovolt infrastructure, to supply the Kakula Mine with clean hydropower, is progressing. Four turbines are expected to be operational by December 2020, and the remaining two in Q1 2021. The refurbish
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