Ivanhoe Mines announces significant progress in upgrading the Kipushi zinc-copper mine in the DRC
Robert Friedland, executive chairman of Ivanhoe Mines (TSX:IVN), and CEO Lars-Eric Johansson, announced today that excellent progress has been made by Ivanhoe in upgrading and modernizing the Kipushi Mine's shafts, pumping stations and underground infrastructure as part of the plan to prepare the mine for the restart of commercial production. The mine now has clear and safe access to all of the main underground workings, including the Big Zinc Deposit.
The current mine redevelopment plan, as outlined in the May 2016 independent, preliminary economic assessment (PEA), includes a two-year construction period with a relatively quick ramp-up to a projected steady-state production of 530,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate per annum. A pre-feasibility study (PFS) is underway to refine the findings of the PEA and to optimize the mine's redevelopment schedule, life-of-mine operating costs and initial capital costs required to bring the mine back into production. Ivanhoe expects to complete the PFS in the second quarter of 2017.
"We are working hard to have the mine ready to restart production," said Friedland. "Given the extremely high zinc grades at Kipushi, the mine has the potential to be one of the world's largest and lowest-cost zinc producers, while also producing significant quantities of copper, silver and germanium. We remain involved in detailed discussions with potential strategic partners and investors relating to the company and our projects, including Kipushi."