Kamoa-Kakula expected to be the world’s forth largest copper producer after de-bottlenecking in 2023
Zijin News On February 23, Zijin Mining announced that upon completion of the de-bottlenecking initiative, annual copper output at Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 plants is expected to reach 450,000 tonnes -positioning Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s fourth largest copper producer. The de-bottlenecking project will be based on the hot commissioning of Phase 2 plant in April this year, and may take about 12 months to complete.
Surface stockpiles totaled more than 4.4 million tonnes grading 4.61% copper at the end of January
Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine is one of the key-growth copper projects of Zijin. The Phase 1, 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant was completed and put into operation in May 2021; construction of Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 2, 3.8 Mtpa concentrator plant is almost complete -hot commissioning on track for April 2022. The de-bottlenecking project will fully rely on the current facilities of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 projects while another 50 million US dollars will be invested to upgrade some pipelines and equipment. In Q2 2023, the combined design processing capacity of the Phase 1 and Phase 2 will be elevated from 7.6 Mtpa to 9.2 Mtpa, an increase of over 21%. The engineering and early works of Phase 3 and the 500,000 t/a copper smelter are progressing quickly, with a larger concentrator expected to be commissioned by Q4 2024.
Floatation cells set up for commissioning
Kamoa-Kakula has become one of the large copper mines that grow fastest in the world. Last year, the Kamoa-Kakula project’s copper-in-concentrate production totaled 105,884 tonnes, exceeding the upper end of the increased guidance range. In 2022, the company has set its high-growth guidance at between 290,000 and 340,000 tonnes based on 100% equity calculation. Based on independent benchmarking, the project’s phased expansion scenario to 19 Mtpa would position Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s second-largest copper mining complex, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 tonnes.
Employees on site celebrating Phase 2 ball mills in place
In 2021, Zijin produced 584,000 tonnes of copper, achieving a year-on-year increase of 28.9%. Its “three world-class copper mines”, namely the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine in the DRC, Čukaru Peki Copper and Gold Mine in Serbia and the Julong Copper Mine in Tibet, were all put into operation – positioning Zijin as one of the top mining companies with the largest increase in mined copper output in the world. Zijin has set its 2022 production guidance for copper at 860,000 tonnes, which will continue to maintain its momentum of explosive growth.