Ivanhoe Phase 1 concentrator ore throughput exceeds 3.8 Mtpa design
KOLWEZI, DRC – As forecast in Ivanhoe’s Kamoa-Kakula’s progress update issued on September 30, the second concentrate filter press began operations on October 3, enabling the Phase 1 plant to produce copper concentrate above design parameters.
The second filter allows Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 concentrator to take advantage of the exceptionally high-grade copper ore being processed directly from Kakula’s underground mining operations and surface stockpiles.
“Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 milling and flotation capacity has been demonstrated to be in excess of design parameters,” commented Steve Amos, Kamoa Copper’s Head of Projects. “As such, the additional filter press enables Kamoa-Kakula to take advantage of the extra mill throughput to produce more copper than the estimated design output of approximately 200,000 tonnes per year. We have a third filter press on order that will be installed as part of the Phase 2 concentrator expansion.
“The additional filtration capacity also will allow Kamoa-Kakula’s operations team to find the ‘sweet spot’ between copper recoveries and concentrate copper grades.”
Since the previous reporting month, the Phase 1 concentrator has consistently achieved a run-rate throughput of 12,600 tonnes of ore per day (a rate of approximately 4.2 Mtpa), which is 10.5% higher than the design throughput of approximately 11,400 tonnes per day, or 3.8 Mtpa.
During initial commissioning of the second filter press, a new daily production record of 721 tonnes of copper in filtered concentrate was achieved on October 4, 2021. The current copper price is approximately US$9,500 a tonne.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (20%).