TSX-listed Ivanhoe Mines has announced that underground development at the Kamoa-Kakula copper project, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, produced a combined 250 000 t of ore, grading 4.85% copper, in November.
This tonnage from the Kakula and Kansoko mines was 29% higher than the volumes achieved in October, while the grade also increased month-on-month from 4.01% to 4.85%.
The project’s pre-production surface stockpiles now contain about 1.25-million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore, at an estimated grade of 3.75% copper.
The project is on track to have about three-million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore stockpiled on surface, containing more than 125 000 t of copper, prior to the planned start of production in July 2021.
The company is in the process of conducting underground development at the Kamoa-Kakula project, which totalled 2 172 m in October, bringing the total underground development to more than 24.7 km.
The development work has included 1 809 m at the Kakula mine and 363 m at the Kansoko mine.
“The imminent joining of Kakula’s northern and southern main access drives will be a major milestone in the mine’s development. Once this is achieved, the opening up and ledging of the drift-and-fill blocks can commence in the high-grade core of the deposit, where the average grade is projected to exceed 8% copper,” Kamoa Copper CEO Mark Farren previously said.
The Kamoa-Kakula’s first phase involves mining and milling 3.8-million tonnes of ore a year, while a 3.8-million-tonne-a-year concentrator plant is being built simultaneously.
Phase 2 will double the concentrator’s processing capacity to 7.6-million tonnes a year in 2022.