Kamoa Copper’s Phase 1, 3.8 Mtpa concentrator plant reached commercial production on 1st July 2021 after achieving a milling rate in excess of 80% of design capacity and recoveries very close to 70% for a continuous, seven-day period.
Copper production has steadily increased since first production began at the end of May. Towards the end of July, copper production exceeded 500 tonnes per day, nearing the Phase 1 steady-state design capacity of an estimated 550 tonnes per day, equivalent to 200 000 tonnes per year.
Importantly, copper recoveries have increased from an average of 70% in June to 81% in July. Approaching the end of July, the concentrator averaged copper recoveries close to 82%, with operations progressively increasing towards Phase 1 steady-state design copper recoveries of approximately 86%.
Additionally, the underground mining crews at Kamoa have achieved a new record for metres of advancement in July, with 3,876 metres, breaking the previous record of 3,625 metres achieved in April. The progress made in July brings the total underground development to almost 52.8 kilometres, which is more than 18.1 kilometres ahead of schedule.
Kamoa Copper’s CEO, Mark Farren was pleased with the performance at the mining complex and said: “Our mining and concentrator teams have delivered yet another strong performance, and we continue to add to the surface stockpiles even as Phase 1 copper production ramps up. We intend to maintain these ore production levels over the next months as we prepare for the commissioning of the Phase 2 concentrator plant, and possible strategic stockpiling for Phase 3 expansion.”
To date, approximately 32,700 tonnes of copper concentrate have been loaded at the mine site for delivery to either the Lualaba Copper Smelter near Kolwezi, or to international markets. In July, a total of 414,000 tonnes grading 5.16% copper was extracted from the Kakula Mine, including 85 000 tonnes grading 7.70% copper from the mine’s high-grade centre, and 47,000 tonnes grading 4.13% copper from the Kansoko Mine. Kamoa’s pre-production surface stockpiles currently contain approximately 3.54 million tonnes of medium-grade and high-grade ore with an average of 4.77% copper.
Looking forward, Kamoa is pleased to report that the Phase 2 concentrator of the expansion to 7.6 Mtpa is more than 35% complete and well on track to begin operations in Q3 2022.
Watch a new video showcasing the ramp up of copper production at Kamoa-Kakula and the production of blister copper at the local Lualaba Copper Smelter.