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Kamoa-Kakula (TSX:IVN) to begin copper production within a month
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  • Kamoa-Kakula (IVN) to begin copper production within a month
  • The target date for C4 commissioning has been advanced to the end of May or early June -several months ahead of schedule
  • The construction of the project's first phase concentrator plant is essentially complete, with the majority of the C1 certificates signed off
  • Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal joint-venture projects in Southern Africa
  • Ivanhoe Mines (IVN) is up 3.75 per cent and is trading at C$9.00 at 1:52 pm ET

Ivanhoe Mines (IVN) has announced accelerated construction and commissioning progress at the Phase 1 Kamoa-Kakula concentrator plant.

Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng "Miles" Sun are pleased to announce that the target date for C4 commissioning has been advanced to the end of May or early June -several months ahead of schedule.

The overall construction of the project's first phase 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant is essentially complete, with the majority of the C1 certificates signed off.

The plant is energized with permanent power and C2 commissioning, which involves electrical, control and instrumentation checks, is well advanced.

Water is being circulated in certain areas of the plant, marking the beginning of C3 commissioning.

C3 commissioning involves checking for leaks, certain instrument calibration, control loop checks, and is the precursor to C4 commissioning, which involves processing ore through the plant to produce a copper concentrate.

Overall plant commissioning is running well ahead of schedule, with the first ore expected to be added to the mill by the end of May 2021.

Lower-grade ore will be fed into the plant during the C4 commissioning phase, to ensure plant performance and copper recovery are satisfactory before increasing the head grade.

The 409,000 tonnes mined in April comprised 357,000 tonnes grading 5.70 per cent copper from the Kakula Mine.

including 121,000 tonnes grading 8.40 per cent copper from the mine's high-grade centre, and 51,000 tonnes grading 5.85 per cent copper from the Kansoko Mine.

The project's pre-production surface stockpiles now contain approximately 3.0 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated blended average of 4.74 per cent copper.

Kamoa-Kakula now has reached the 3.0-million-tonne target of mined high-grade and medium-grade ore, several months ahead of the timeline estimated in the 2020 pre-feasibility study.

Contained copper in the stockpiles increased by approximately 23,000 tonnes in April - to a cumulative total of more than 140,000 tonnes.

April's underground mine development shatters all previous records with advancements of more than 3,625 metres.

Kamoa-Kakula also set another monthly mine development record in April, with the advancement of more than 3,625 metres, bringing total underground development to approximately 42.2 kilometres - more than 15 kilometres ahead of schedule.

Drift-and-fill stoping operations are progressing well at the Kakula Mine, with the majority of the ore production coming from stoping operations and the remainder coming from mine development activities.

Drift-and-fill stoping is a highly-productive mining method of extracting underground ore, where a single tunnel, known as a stope, is extracted leaving an open void that is subsequently backfilled to allow for the extraction of the neighbouring stope in sequence. 

Mark Farren, Kamoa Copper's CEO, remarked: "We now have reached our 3.0-million-tonne pre-production stockpile target."

"This stockpile likely is to grow further as our monthly mining rate currently exceeds the Phase 1 milling rate, and only should be drawn down once the Phase 2 concentrator begins operation in mid-2022," added Farren.

Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal joint-venture projects in Southern Africa.

Ivanhoe Mines (IVN) is up 3.75 per cent and is trading at C$9.00 at 1:52 pm ET.

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