Ivanhoe execs brief Congo president on progress of massive copper project

Blasting at the Kamoa-Kakula project in the Congo, which has the potential to become the world’s second largest copper mine when it goes into production late 2021. Photo by Ivanhoe Mines, 2019.

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) issued a media statement this week saying that a few of the company’s top executives met with Félix Tshisekedi, the recently-elected President of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and updated him on the progress being made in the development of the Kamoa-Kakula copper project and the Kipushi zinc project.

Kamoa-Kakula, a joint venture between Ivanhoe, Zijin Mining Group and the DRC government, is located in the Lualaba province and it was a greenfield discovery made by Ivanhoe’s geological team. According to Wood Mackenzie, it is the world’s largest, undeveloped, high-grade copper discovery.

Kipushi operation. Photo by Ivanhoe Mines.

The Kipushi zinc project is a joint venture between the Ivanhoe and La Générale des Carrières et des Mines or Gécamines, the DRC state-owned mining company. The project is located in the Haut-Katanga province and, according to Ivanhoe, it is set to become an important zinc producer.

Tshisekedi was briefed on the advancement of both operations, as well as on the company’s exploration programs in the Lualaba province, during an official state visit to Washington, D.C. Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun, Co-Chairmen of Ivanhoe, were in charge of the presentation.

“We share President Tshisekedi’s determination to develop a strong partnership between international mining companies and the Democratic Republic of Congo,” Friedland said in the media brief. “With the continued support of the government, Kamoa-Kakula is on track to become one of the world’s greatest copper mining complexes, helping to cement the DRC as a global, top tier copper producer. The Kipushi Project will benefit from similar support and propel the DRC to become a significant zinc producer as well.”