A Sandvik 63-mt haul truck dumps its load of ore into the east tipping bin that feeds the Kakula North decline conveyor belt. (Photo: Kamoa Copper)

Kamoa Copper set a new quarterly production record in the third quarter of 2022 by producing 97,820 metric tons (mt) of copper in concentrate, up from 87,314 mt produced in the second quarter and 55,602 mt produced in the first quarter. Located in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kamoa milled 2.1 million mt of ore at an average feed grade of 5.6% copper during the third quarter, the company said.

The Phase 1 and Phase 2 concentrators also set a monthly production record in September 2022, producing 33,484 mt of copper in concentrate, while achieving a daily production record of 1,426 mt of copper in concentrate on September 3.

“Kamoa has effectively doubled its copper production rate to approximately 400,000 mt/y since the first quarter, and is expected to be producing at an annualized rate of 450,000 mt/y by the second quarter of 2023,” Ivanhoe Mines’ Founder and Executive Co-Chairman, Robert Friedland said. “This all has been achieved ahead of schedule and on budget”.

Management continues to anticipate that the early commissioning of the Phase 2 concentrator plant in March 2022, approximately four months ahead of schedule, will enable Kamoa Copper to deliver in the upper range of its increased 2022 production guidance of between 310,000-340,000 mt of copper in concentrate.

Construction on the Phase 3 box cut and decline ramp for the two new underground mines, Kamoa 1 and Kamoa 2, is now complete, while an excavation of the twin declines to access the new mining areas is advancing well. Construction works for the ramp, cut-off drains, and water-collection sumps have also been completed. Meanwhile, the basic engineering design for the entire Phase 3 expansion project is complete, with procurement activities well advanced. Phase 3 is expected to increase copper production capacity to about 600,000 mt/y by the fourth quarter of 2024, positioning Kamoa as the world’s third-largest copper mining complex, and the largest copper mining complex on the African continent.