Kamoa-Kakula is now world’s third-largest copper mining complex

Senior management addressing workers inside the Phase 3 concentrate storage and load-out facility, during the celebration of first concentrate on June 9, 2024. (Image: Ivanhoe Mines)

Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN) announced Tuesday it has achieved first concentrate production at the Kamoa-Kakula operation’s Phase 3 concentrator in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

The Phase 3 concentrator was completed almost two quarters ahead of schedule and is projected to boost Kamoa-Kakula’s output to over 600,000 tonnes of copper per year once fully ramped up.

With a design capacity of five million tonnes per year, the Phase 3 concentrator’s capacity is 30% greater than that of the Phase 1 and 2 concentrators, which are located 10 km from the Phase 3 site.

Phase 1 and 2 concentrators produced 35,474 tonnes of copper in May, marking the best performance in the past 12 months.

With the addition of the third concentrator, Kamoa-Kakula has become the third-largest copper mining complex in the world, following Escondida in Chile and Grasberg in Indonesia. It is also the largest copper operation on the African continent.

Shares of Ivanhoe Mines were down 1.96% by 12:30 p.m. EDT. The Vancouver-based copper miner has a market capitalization of C$23.3 billion ($20.6 billion).