Zijin News, the construction of Phase 1 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant is 98% completed. The first 3 stages of commissioning has completed, with advanced-stage commissioning underway. Kamoa-Kakula is expected to begin producing copper later this month or early June, several months ahead of schedule.
Kamoa-Kakula set another monthly mine development record in April, bringing total underground development to approximately 42.2 kilometres. Pre-production ore stockpiles now hold 3.0 million tonnes grading 4.74% copper, containing more than 140,000 tonnes of copper.
Kamoa-Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade major copper mine, with an initial mining rate of 3.8 Mtpa at an estimated early average feed grade of more than 6.0% copper, ramping up to 7.6 Mtpa in Q3 2022 with an annual production of 400 thousand tonnes of copper.
Construction of the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant (Phase 2) is progressing well with the current focus on earthworks and civil works. Both earthworks and civil works are tracking slightly ahead of schedule. The shipments of long-lead items, structural steel and platework are on route to site.
Given the current copper price environment, Zijin and Ivanhoe are exploring the acceleration of the Kamoa-Kakula Phase 3 concentrator expansion from 7.6Mtpa to 11.4Mtpa, which would bring annual copper production to 530,000 tonnes.
Kamoa-Kakula is nearing completion of agreements with respect to the sale of its copper concentrates during Phase 1 operations. Kakula is expected to produce an extremely high-grade, clean copper concentrate (containing over 55% copper) containing extremely low arsenic levels by world standards – approximately 0.01% that will be highly coveted by smelters around the world.
Kamoa-Kakula implements a ‘sustainable development plan’ including building 100 new fish ponds to improve food safety and economic development for nearby communities. A 2020 independent audit of Kamoa-Kakula's greenhouse gas intensity metrics performed by Hatch Ltd. of Mississauga, Canada, confirmed that the project will be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced.