Kamoa Copper signed a 10-year agreement with the Lualaba Copper Smelter (LCS), located outside the town of Kolwezi, for the processing of a portion of Kamoa’s copper concentrate production.
Kamoa Copper delivered its first copper concentrates to the Lualaba smelter on 1 June. LCS is 60%-owned by China Nonferrous Metal Mining Group (CNMC) of Beijing, China. Yunnan Copper of Kunming, China, owns the other 40%.
The agreement follows Ivanhoe Mines and CNMC entering into a strategic partnership with LCS on August 18, 2020, and concludes a negotiation that took place over the last year.
In addition, Ivanhoe Mines’ Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun have announced that commissioning and ramp up of the Kamoa-Kakula Phase 1, 3.8 Mtpa concentrator plant have progressed safely and quickly toward nameplate capacity.
Kamoa-Kakula’s initial copper concentrate was produced on 25 May.
The project’s pre-production surface stockpiles now contain approximately 3.3 Mt of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated, blended average of 4.87% copper. Contained copper in the stockpiles at the end of May now totals more than 160,000 tonnes (the current copper price is approximately US$10,200 a tonne).
Ivanhoe’s guidance for contained copper in concentrate expected to be produced by Kamoa-Kakula for the balance of 2021 is 80,000 to 95,000 tonnes. The figures are on a 100%-project basis and metal reported in concentrate is prior to refining losses or deductions associated with smelter terms.