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Changing of the guards for Ivanhoe Mines

Multi-listed Ivanhoe Mines has announced that Mark Farren, formerly Ivanhoe’s Executive Vice President, Operations, has been appointed as the CEO of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper JV.

In two concurrent moves to further enhance Ivanhoe’s development and operating capabilities, Louis Watum, Ivanhoe’s DRC country manager, has been appointed President of the Board of Directors of Kamoa Copper SA, the DRC operating company of the joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo that is developing the Kamoa-Kakula Project.

Watum’s expanded role includes assisting with infrastructure development.

South African mining veteran Warwick Morley-Jepson has been appointed as Ivanhoe’s new COO, assuming the duties formerly held by Farren.

“Louis, Mark and Warwick all have extensive experience in the development, construction and operation of underground mines in the region, and we have the utmost confidence in their abilities to assemble and lead the joint-venture team that will construct and operate the stage-one, six million-tonne-per-annum Kakula Copper Mine, while also advancing development efforts at our Kipushi and Platreef projects and fast-tracking exploration drilling on our 100%-owned Western Foreland licences,” says Ivanhoe co-chairperson Robert Friedland.

Joining Farren on Kamoa-Kakula’s new executive management team will be Dr. Yong Chen of Zijin Mining, as COO.

Dr. Chen has more than 25 years’ management experience in mining operations, including his most recent role as Director and General Manager of Xinjiang Ashele Copper, a large-scale underground mining and processing complex majority owned by Zijin Mining.

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“The executive management team will work closely with Mr. Watum and senior Congolese management, our government partners and our host communities to help ensure that the Kakula Mine is built on time and budget, and to the best international standards,” adds Friedland.

“The structure of the team reflects the strong degree of cooperation between the joint-venture parties, and we are confident that the individual expertise and leadership qualities of each member of this executive team will help ensure a successful start-up of operations at Kakula.”

“This is an important stage of growth for Ivanhoe Mines, and I am honoured to lead the development of the tier-one Kamoa-Kakula Project at such an exciting time,” says Farren.

“We are uniquely positioned to build Kakula into one of the world’s greatest copper mines, and I am excited to be part of the team that moves this project forward to production.”

The Kamoa-Kakula Copper senior management team also includes Congolese nationals Ben Munanga – Head of Energy; Teddy Kabongo – Head of Tax; and Dr. Guy Muswil – Head of Sustainability. As well, Rochelle De Villiers of Ivanhoe Mines and David Li of Zijin Mining have been appointed as Kamoa-Kakula’s Co-Chief Financial Officers.

The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project 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 at least three mines planned at Kamoa-Kakula, currently is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.