Democratic Republic of Congo – PGM and base metals mining company Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining Group have agreed to complete Zijin’s investment in Ivanhoe’s Kamoa copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on or before December 8, 2015.
Zijin agreed in May this year to acquire, through a subsidiary company, a 49.5% interest in Kamoa Holding for an aggregate consideration of US$412 million. Kamoa Holding is an Ivanhoe Mines subsidiary that owns the company’s interest in the Kamoa project. Ivanhoe also has agreed to sell 1% of its share interest in Kamoa Holding to Crystal River Global.
Ivanhoe Mines executive chairman Robert Friedland said that constructive and cordial negotiations between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin and senior DRC government officials in recent weeks have established an agreed course of action to develop the Kamoa Project.
“Ivanhoe and Zijin, together with Crystal River, have confirmed that all conditions to completion have been satisfied or waived and that the investment will be completed on or before December 8, 2015, in Hong Kong. Zijin is one of the world’s most accomplished miners and the conclusion of this transaction is a major step toward the realization of significant benefits for all of the stakeholders of Ivanhoe and Zijin, as well as for the Congolese people,”Friedland added.
With indicated mineral resources of 739Mt grading 2.67% copper, containing 43.5 billion pounds of copper, and inferred mineral resources of 227Mt grading 1.96% copper, containing 9.8 billion pounds of copper (at a 1% copper cut off), Kamoa is independently regarded as Africa’s largest, high-grade copper discovery and the world’s biggest, undeveloped high-grade copper discovery.
In March this year, members of the Ivanhoe Mines exploration team received the prestigious Thayer Lindsley Award from the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada for the Kamoa copper discovery, recognized as 2014’s top international mineral discovery.
The 2013 Kamoa preliminary economic assessment (PEA) reflects a two-phased approach to development of the Kamoa Project. The first phase of mining will target high-grade copper mineralization from shallow, underground resources to produce approximately 100,000 tonnes of contained copper per year in a high-value concentrate.
The Kamoa PEA estimated that the pre-production capital required for Kamoa’s first phase of development would be approximately $1.4 billion. The proposed second phase will entail a major expansion of the mine and mill, and construction of a smelter to produce approximately 300,000 tonnes of blister copper each year.
The Kamoa prefeasibility study is progressing and the completed report is expected to be finalized in early 2016.