The scope of Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 expansion includes a third concentrator plant to be located adjacent to the Kansoko Mine (at the Kansoko Sud orebody), approximately 10 kilometres north of the Kakula Mine. The Phase 3 concentrator is being designed to have a larger nameplate milling capacity than the 3.8-Mtpa nameplate milling capacity of the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators.
The planned Phase 3 concentrator is expected to be supplied by ore from the established mine at Kansoko, as well as from two new planned mines, named Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2. The Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2 mining areas will be accessed via a twin-decline system (the Kamoa Mine decline) which now is under construction.
Phase 3 also includes the upgrade of turbine 5 at the Inga II hydropower complex to provide an additional 162 megawatts (MW) of renewable hydropower, and the construction of a direct-to-blister smelter, with a production capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum of blister copper. On November 18, 2021, Kamoa Copper awarded China Nerin Engineering Co., Ltd. of Jiangxi, China, with the basic engineering contract for the smelter that will incorporate leading-edge technology supplied by Metso Outotec of Espoo, Finland.
The planned smelter is to be built adjacent to the Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrator plants, and is designed to meet the International Finance Corporation’s emissions standards. The smelter has been sized to process the majority of the copper concentrate forecast to be produced by Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1, Phase 2 and Phase 3 concentrators. With a nameplate capacity of 500,000 tonnes per annum of blister copper, it is projected to be one of the largest, single-line blister-copper flash smelters in the world, and the largest in Africa. The next stages of project development will be the completion of basic engineering and the ordering of the long-lead items of equipment.
Study work on all aspects of the Phase 3 expansion is progressing well, with expected completion in Q2 2022, after which Kamoa Copper will advance into a more detailed phase of design and engineering work.
Mr. Farren noted: “We have made excellent progress on determining the best location of the new box cut that will be able to serve both the Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2 mines from the same infrastructure. Geotechnical and hydrological work is almost complete for the decline system and earthworks began on the box cut on December 2, 2021.
“While we are in the process of refining the mine design and scheduling of the planned new mines at the Kamoa orebody, we believe that Phase 3 production could boost Kamoa-Kakula to become among the very largest copper mines. Phase 3 will include maximizing the potential of both the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators, as well as construction of a new, larger concentrator at the Kamoa Mine.
“We expect to start up the Phase 3 concentrator by the end of 2024. This timing is aligned with our Inga 2 hydropower project, where we expect to complete the refurbishment of the 162-megawatt turbine 5 in Q4 2024.”
Source: Copperbelt Katanga Mining