Kipushi concentrator wraps up ahead of schedule

Ivanhoe Mines has confirmed that it completed construction of its Kipushi concentrator and produced first ore and concentrate at the zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC).

The miner said 2 July that the first ore milestone was met 31 May, and first concentrate was recorded 14 June.

The moves come more than 100 years after the mine first opened for operations, and 31 years after it was placed on care and maintenance.

Kipushi is now targeting zine production capacity of 278,000 metric tons annually on average for the first five years – which, if met, would make it the fourth-largest zinc mine in the world. It has already undertaken basic engineering to boost its processing capacity to 960,000 t/y, a 20% increase.

Off-take agreements for Kipushi’s high-grade zinc concentrate have been signed with CITIC Metal (HK) Limited of Hong Kong and Trafigura Asia Trading of Singapore. Further off-take agreements are expected to be signed in the coming months.

“The rebirth of the mine is a major and state-of-the-art achievement for our operations team, the people of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the local community in Kipushi Town,” said Ivanhoe Mines founder and executive co-chairman Robert Friedland.

“Kipushi will be one of the world’s leading producers of high-grade, low-emissions zinc and associated metals. The mine also demonstrates the tier-one quality of the ore body and workforce that make the Central African Copperbelt the best place on our planet to build world-leading mining operations.”

Kipushi Corporation (KICO) is 68% owned by Kipushi Holding, a wholly owned subsidiary of Ivanhoe Mines, with the remaining 32% of KICO owned by Gécamines.

Canadian-based Ivanhoe Mines also is working on expansion of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex in the DRC and the construction of the tier-one Platreef palladium-nickel-platinum-rhodium-copper-gold project in South Africa.

Source: Ivanhoe Mines

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