The construction of TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines’ construction of the Kamoa-Kakula's Phase 2 concentrator plant is proceeding ahead of schedule.
Designed to double copper production to about 400 000 t/y, the project team now expects to start operating the concentrator plant in the second quarter of 2022, compared with the third quarter as initially planned.
The 3.8-million-tonne-a-year Phase 2 concentrator plant is a carbon copy of the Phase 1 concentrator plant, and is being built alongside the Phase 1 plant.
All long-lead items of equipment, structural steel, platework and mechanical equipment for the Phase 2 plant are already delivered to site or are en route. As of the end of September, the Phase 2 plant was more than 50% complete.
Ivanhoe founder and executive co-chairperson Robert Friedland on October 12 enthused that the ahead of schedule and on-budget achievements at the project “stand tall and shine brightly in a Covid-19 world where mining, infrastructure and other industrial projects are routinely massively delayed, hindered by supply bottlenecks and predictably subject to significant cost over-runs”.
Also at the end of September, Kamoa-Kakula had surface ore stockpiles of about 3.6-million tonnes, grading 4.73% copper, containing more than 173 000 t of copper.
These stockpiles are in place to help ensure a smooth and efficient ramp up of the Phase 2 concentrator to steady-state production during 2022, the miner said.