Ivanhoe Mines Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun have announced that Kamoa Copper SA has appointed Ben Munanga as Chairman of its Board of Directors.
Kamoa Copper is the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) operating company of the joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River and the Government of the DRC that is developing the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine.
Munanga has been the General Manager of Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC (IVEN) – a sister company of Kamoa Copper that is responsible for delivering reliable, clean, renewable hydropower to the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine – since August 2015.
In a concurrent move, Olivier Binyingo, Ivanhoe Mines’ Vice President Public Affairs DRC, has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper to further enhance Kamoa Copper’s collaboration with government partners and local communities.
Munanga replaces Louis Watum as Chairman of Kamoa Copper’s Board of Directors. Watum has been appointed General Manager of Ivanhoe’s Kipushi zinc-copper-silver project, a joint-venture with the DRC state-owned mining company La Générale des Carrières et des Mines (Gécamines).
Watum also serves as President of the Chamber of Mines at the Federation of Enterprises of Congo (FEC).
“We would also like to acknowledge Ben for his excellent work in upgrading the Mwadingusha hydropower plant; a private-public partnership with the DRC’s state-owned power company La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL) that is providing clean hydro-generated electricity to the national grid for Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 and Phase 2 production, as well as local communities,” says Friedland.
“During his six-year tenure at Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC, Ben has become a trusted leader. His knowledge of our businesses and proven ability to partner across the industry make him ideal to advance our efforts at Kamoa Copper.”
“We are thrilled to have Ben and Olivier join Kamoa Copper’s board of directors as we pursue our goal of building an enduring, responsible, multinational mining company.
“Both Ben and Olivier are passionate advocates of the DRC mining industry, and we believe they will provide valuable perspectives as Kamoa Copper continues its journey to becoming the world’s greenest, major copper producer,” Friedland continued.
“We’re immensely proud of Kamoa Copper’s outstanding commitment to social and environmental responsibility, as well as its significant investments in the development of policies and programs for workplace safety, diversity, community development, and education. We expect that this commitment will continue to strengthen under Ben’s leadership,” Friedland added.
“Watum’s appointment as head of the Kipushi Project is evidence of Ivanhoe’s intention of developing the mine in a timely fashion with the cooperation of our government partners and our host communities,” said Mr. Friedland.
Olivier Binyingo, Ivanhoe Mines’ Vice President Public Affairs DRC, also was appointed to the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper. Mr. Binyingo joined Ivanhoe Mines in November 2020 with a focus on enhancing relationships with the DRC’s public sector stakeholders of both the Kamoa-Kakula and Kipushi projects.
Olivier holds a Master of Laws from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Belgium) and a Master in Security and Defence from the Université Grenoble Alpes (France). Before joining Ivanhoe Mines, Binyingo held senior positions in a number of professional services firms, advising clients on their projects and operations on the African continent.
Legal directory Chambers Global has consistently recognized Olivier as an expert on the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition, he was ranked as one of the most influential lawyers in Francophone Africa in 2019 by Jeune Afrique.
Binyingo joins Marna Cloete, Ivanhoe’s President and CFO, as Ivanhoe’s appointees on the Kamoa Copper board. Zijin Mining, Ivanhoe’s equal partner, also has two appointees on the board Abraham Li and Chen Yong and the Government of the DRC has one appointee Bernadette Mpundu Mpia.
Mark Farren, Kamoa Copper’s Chief Executive Office, and Ben Munanga are the two appointees from Kamoa Copper’s management team.
The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the DRC government (20%).
Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining are co-funding development of the project. Initial copper concentrate production from the Kakula Mine, the first of multiple mines planned on the 400-square-kilometre Kamoa-Kakula mining licence, is scheduled to begin this July.