Ivanhoe Mines looks to fast-track expansion at Kamoa-Kakula
Ivanhoe Mines joint venture with China’s Zijin Mining is in a strong position to move its copper project forward following the recent success of its $575mn convertible notes financing.
Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng ‘Miles’ Sun are consideringhigh-priority opportunities including accelerating the Phase 3 expansion at the Kamoa-Kakula copper mine (beyond Phases 1 and 2).
Fast-tracking additional hydropower upgrades in the DRC also is a high-priority opportunity to ensure abundant clean and renewable electricity for all subsequent expansions at Kamoa-Kakula. The management team also is evaluating a potential, state-of-the-art, direct-to-blister smelter that could bring numerous economic benefits and further reduce the project’s Scope 3 emissions.
The funding also will provide opportunities to expand and accelerate the copper exploration program on the company’s Western Foreland exploration licences, located in close proximity to the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence.
Friedland commented: “The proceeds from the offering strengthen the position of Ivanhoe Mines. The company will now look to further increase production at our Kamoa-Kakula copper joint-venture, and to accelerate the Phase 3 concentrator expansion from 7.6 million tonnes per annum to 11.4 million tonnes per annum. Together with our partner Zijin Mining, we have already accelerated the Phase 2 expansion to begin production in Q3 2022 and bring copper production to approximately 400,000 tonnes, or approximately 880 million pounds, per year.
"Our improved capital position now opens the distinct possibility of earlier development of the Phase 3 expansion, which would bring copper production at Kamoa-Kakula, up to approximately 530,000 tonnes, or approximately 1.2 billion pounds, per year.”
“We are delighted to welcome many new institutional investors to Ivanhoe Mines,” added Friedland. “Our company is about to make the long-fought transition from an explorer and developer, to becoming a major diversified mining company. It has been a remarkable journey for Kamoa-Kakula and Platreef; to grow from grassroots discoveries to imminently joining the ranks of the world's largest producers of copper, platinum-group metals and nickel.”
Friedland believes Ivanhoe Mines is uniquely positioned as both a deep value and growth equity story, with industry-leading Environmental, Social and Governance attributes.
Vale invests $150mn to extend life of Manitoba operations
Vale has announced a $150mn CAD investment to extend current mining activities in Thompson, Manitoba by 10 years while aggressive exploration drilling of known orebodies holds the promise of mining well past 2040.
Global energy transition is boosting the market for nickel
The Thompson Mine Expansion is a two-phase project. The announcement represents Phase 1 and includes critical infrastructure such as new ventilation raises and fans, increased backfill capacity and additional power distribution. The changes are forecast to improve current production by 30%.
“This is the largest single investment we have made in our Thompson operations in the past two decades,” said Mark Travers, Executive Vice-President for Base Metals with Vale. “It is significant news for our employees, for the Thompson community and for the Province of Manitoba.
“The global movement to electric vehicles, renewable energies and carbon reduction has shone a welcome spotlight on nickel – positioning the metal we mine as a key contributor to a greener future and boosting world demand. We are proud that Thompson can be part of that future and part of the low carbon solution.”
Vale continues drilling program at Manitoba
Coupled with today’s announcement, Vale is continuing an extensive drilling program to further define known orebodies and search for new mineralization.
“This $150mn investment is just one part of our ambitious Thompson turnaround story. It is an indicator of our confidence in a long future for the Thompson operations,” added Dino Otranto, Chief Operating Officer for Vale’s North Atlantic Base Metals operations.
“Active collaboration between our design team, technical services, USW Local 6166, and our entire Thompson workforce has delivered a safe, efficient and fit-for-purpose plan that will enable us to extract the Thompson nickel resources for many years to come.”
The Thompson orebody was first discovered in 1956 by Vale (then known as Inco) following the adoption of new exploration technology and the largest exploration program to-date in the company’s history. Mining of the Thompson orebody began in 1961.
“We see the lighting of a path forward to a sustainable and prosperous future for Vale Base Metals in Manitoba,” said Gary Annett, General Manager of Vale’s Manitoba Operations.