Ivanhoe Mines has completed the first blast on the twin declines at the ultra-high grade Kakula copper discovery on the company’s Tier One Kamoa-Kakula copper project.The Kakula box cut was successfully completed on 26 October 2017, and the first blast for the twin declines at Kakula took place on 16 November – 10 days ahead of schedule.
The Kakula decline development work is being undertaken by JMMC, a DRC subsidiary of JCHX Mining Management of Beijing, China.
Depending on ground conditions, the 3,600 m decline development contract is scheduled for completion in approximately one year from now.
In response to the spectacular exploration success at the Kakula discovery, Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining are fast-tracking the mine development program at Kakula.
The Kakula copper deposit is a gently-dipping blanket of thick, chalcocite-rich copper mineralisation. Initial mine development is planned to begin in the flat, near-surface zone which, at a 3% cut-off, is between 7.1 m and 11.7 m thick and with copper grades between 8.11% and 10.35% along the deposit’s axis.
Unwavering exploration focus
Fourteen rigs are continuing to drill at Kamoa-Kakula, including 10 rigs focused on expanding and upgrading the resources in the Kakula high-grade zone along trend to the west and southeast. A fresh resource estimate for Kakula is being prepared and is expected to result in a major upgrade and expansion of the Kakula mineral resources.
Results from drill holes completed to the end of October 2017 will form the basis of the planned updated mineral resource estimate encompassing the entire strike length of the Kakula discovery, which now extends to at least 12 km. This would represent an increase of approximately 60% in the strike length that will be used to calculate the new resource estimate, as compared to the 7.7 km strike length covered by Kakula’s May 2017 resource estimate.
The updated resource estimate is expected to be issued in January 2018.
Feature Image credit: Ivanhoe Mines
Abraham Li (left), Deputy General Manager of Kamoa Copper, and Mark Farren (right), Ivanhoe’s Executive Vice President, Operations, celebrate the successful first blast on 16 November 2017.