Ivanhoe Mines DFS for Kamoa-Kakula copper project confirms giant mine

Photo: Ivanhoe Mines

Ivanhou Mines announces outstanding economic results of the independent Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the tier one Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The IDP comprises three development scenarios: Kakula definitive feasibility study (DFS), Kakula-Kansoko pre-feasibility study (PFS), and Kamoa-Kakula preliminary economic assessment (PEA)

Ultra-high copper grades; clean, renewable hydropower; and approximately half of tailings stored underground, positions Kamoa-Kakula to produce the world’s most environmentally-responsible copper

The DFS evaluates the stage-one, 6-million-tonnes-per-annum (Mtpa) Kakula Mine currently being constructed; this first stage yields an after-tax NPV8% of US$5.5 billion, IRR of 77% over a 21-year mine life, and payback of 2.3 years

Ivanhoe fully funded to initial production at the Kakula Mine − expected in less than a year. Kakula’s expected average ore-feed grade is 6.6% copper, and mine-site cash cost US$0.48/lb. copper, in first five years of operation

The PFS evaluates mining 1.6 Mtpa from the Kansoko Mine, in addition to 6 Mtpa from Kakula, to fill a 7.6-Mtpa processing plant at Kakula; this scenario yields an after-tax NPV8% of US$6.6 billion, IRR of 69% over a 37-year mine life, and payback of 2.5 years

The PEA evaluates an integrated, multi-staged development to achieve a 19-Mtpa production rate; yielding a potential after-tax NPV8% of US$11.1 billion, IRR of 56% over a plus 40-year mine life, and payback of 3.6 years

The phased expansion scenario to 19 Mtpa would position Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s second largest copper mining complex, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 tonnes

Estimated remaining initial capital cost for all three development scenarios is between US$0.6 billion and US$0.7 billion, of which Ivanhoe’s share is approximately 50%, with subsequent expansions funded by cash flows

Kamoa-Kakula engineers are working to further optimize the mine plan and bring forward, from Q1 2023 to Q2 2022, the expansion of the Kakula processing plant to 7.6 Mtpa.