Ivanhoe completes Phase 3 concentrator at Kamoa-Kakula ahead of schedule

Kamoa-Kakula celebrated the first feed of ore into the ball mills of the new Phase 3 concentrator on May 26, 2024. (Image: Ivanhoe Mines)

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) announced on Tuesday that the first ore was fed into the Phase 3 concentrator at the Kamoa-Kakula copper complex in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

According to the company, the first ore marks the completion of construction of the Phase 3 concentrator, which has been achieved months ahead of schedule and on budget.

The first concentrate is expected in early June, while ramp-up to commercial production is targeted for early in the third quarter.

Given the outperformance of Kamoa-Kakula’s operations to date, Ivanhoe founder Robert Friedland said the company is now studying options to boost copper production towards its next goal of 800,000 tonnes per annum.

This production rate, said Friedland, would propel the Kamoa-Kakula complex “towards being one of the two largest copper producers on our planet.”

“We are now also studying options to accelerate the Phase 4 expansion at Kamoa-Kakula to target a throughput rate of at least 20 million tonnes annually,” he added.

Shares of Ivanhoe Mines were up by 3.75% by 12:30 p.m. EDT on the back of the news release. The Vancouver-based copper miner has a market capitalization of C$25.96 billion ($19.03bn).