Ivanhoe moves hundreds to mine site

Kamoa-Kakula mining complex. (Image courtesy of Ivanhoe Mines).

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) co-chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng ‘Miles’ Sun announced that, despite the fact that no covid-19 cases have been discovered at its projects, strict quarantine and lockdown measures have been implemented at Kamoa-Kakula, Platreef and Kipushi.

In a press release, Friedland and Sun said that at Kamoa-Kakula, located in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the mine site has been locked down and key personnel were left on site. The supply of food and critical equipment is done under strict delivery protocols. 

Ten intensive care units, each equipped with a ventilator, and 20 high-care units will be available at Kamoa-Kakula to treat potential patients, in addition to a quarantine facility for up to 60 potential patients

“A total of 881 employees, who were previously based in surrounding communities and Kolwezi, have been moved to permanent mine site accommodations, and up to 250 additional employees will be moved to the mine site once accommodations have been expanded and subject to appropriate and stringent quarantine protocols,” the media brief reads.

“At present, a total of 3,532 employees and contractors are based at the mine site, which ensures operational continuity and minimizes the impact on the development schedule.”

The 400 square-kilometre Kamoa-Kakula concession comprises two large, near-surface, flat-lying, stratiform copper deposits. One of them, Kakula, is being fast-tracked to commercial production, with the initial 3.8-million-tonne-a-year mining operation scheduled to produce first concentrate in the third quarter of 2021.

When it comes to the other properties, Friedland and Sun said that Kipushi, also located in the DRC, has temporarily suspended operations in order to reduce the risk to the workforce and local communities. The project is maintaining a small workforce to conduct care and maintenance activities, and to maintain pumping operations.

Platreef, located in South Africa, has temporarily suspended its shaft-sinking operations until at least April 16, in compliance with the 21-day, country-wide lockdown imposed by the government since March 26. The project is keeping the minimum number of staff necessary to conduct care and maintenance activities to have the operation ready for when project development resumes.