Ivanhoe signs agreement to boost hydropower at Kamoa-Kakula
Ivanhoe Mines has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in a public-private partnership with the DRC’s state-owned power company La Société Nationale d'Electricité (SNEL) to upgrade a major turbine (#5) at the existing Inga II hydropower facility on the Congo River.
La Société Nationale d'Electricité
Félix Tshisekedi, President of the DRC, commented on the significance of the deal to produce clean, renewable electricity to support Kamoa-Kakula’s expansion plans and provide reliable electricity to local communities: “The Democratic Republic of the Congo is blessed with extraordinary hydroelectric potential. It is imperative to develop this potential because hydropower is clean, reliable and renewable. It is undoubtedly the most suitable type of electricity to support our country’s long-term development priorities.”
“Partnerships such as the one between SNEL and Ivanhoe allow us to inject additional capacity into our electrical grid and improve the living conditions of Congolese citizens by increasing their access to electricity. At the same time, the additional power that will be generated will allow Kamoa-Kakula to beneficiate its mining products in the DRC. This will create additional revenue for the country, as well as employment opportunities for our people. As the host country and as a shareholder of Kamoa Copper, the DRC sees this local value creation as a strategic imperative," President Tshisekedi added.
Ben Munanga, Chairman of Kamoa Copper, remarked: “The bilateral cooperation between Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC and SNEL to secure reliable power for Kamoa-Kakula is a win-win partnership and underscores the importance that the DRC government places on the development of large-scale mining projects in the country.”
“This new power-supply agreement is an important step forward on our sustainability journey as it will provide Kamoa-Kakula with priority access to a combined 240 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity from the upgraded turbines at Mwadingusha and Inga II hydropower plants,” Mr. Munanga added.
SNEL and Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC plan to appoint Voith Hydro of Heidenheim, Germany, a leading engineering group, as the contractor to lead the consortium of equipment manufacturers for the turbine upgrade. For more than 80 years, Voith has successfully constructed and modernized hydropower plants on the African continent, and approximately 25% of currently installed turbine capacity in Africa has been supplied by Voith. Voith also has successfully rehabilitated two turbine generators at the adjoining Inga I hydropower plant, a project that was financed by the World Bank.
Ivanhoe's Chairman Robert Friedland said a long-term, sustainable supply of electricity is essential to Ivanhoe’s vision to develop Kamoa-Kakula into one of the world’s largest copper projects and doing it in an environmentally, ethically and socially responsible manner. As a sustainable source of energy, hydropower can make a significant contribution to a country’s economic and social development.
“Until now, a key limiting factor in expanding Kamoa-Kakula to its full potential has been the availability of sufficient power. Given the project’s massive Indicated Resources of approximately 1.4 billion tonnes grading 2.7% copper, at a 1% cut-off, and the outstanding potential to find more high-grade copper, the new partnership with SNEL on Inga II gives us a clear line of sight to realising our vision of building Kamoa-Kakula into the world’s largest, high-grade, green copper mine,” said Friedland.
“Our first public-private partnership with SNEL – the upgrading of the Mwadingusha hydropower plant – has gone very well and we are pleased that facility will provide clean hydro-generated electricity to local communities as well as to Kamoa-Kakula for Phase 1 and Phase 2 production. The supply of reliable hydropower is critical to Kamoa-Kakula achieving its goal of becoming the world's “greenest” copper mine and be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced."
Ma'aden celebrates 5th anniversary of Vision 2030
Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma’aden), one of the world’s fastest-growing global mining companies, celebrates the fifth anniversary of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. The Kingdom’s mining champion highlights key achievements since the Vision 2030 launch and plans that reflect its commitment to the Kingdom’s social and economic development.
The Kingdom has implemented significant incentive programs and announced major reforms in the last five years to accelerate the development of the mining industry as a strategic pillar of the Saudi economy, including the recently launched mining investment law to attract investors and pave the way for the full utilisation of Saudi Arabia’s mineral resources, which are estimated to be worth more than $1.3trn. This goes in line with the objectives of the National Industrial Development and Logistics Program (NIDLP), one of the most important programs for achieving Vision 2030.
Ma’aden has kept its projects across a range of commodities moving on a strong growth trajectory since 2016. The company has expanded its investment portfolio, refinanced key projects, and made its first international acquisition, laying the foundation for future growth and new investment opportunities in the Saudi mining industry. Despite some challenges in 2020 due to COVID-19, Ma’aden managed to maintain its agility and remained focused on its goal to become a global Saudi mining giant, while adhering to the highest standards of health, safety, and environment.
Located on the east coast of Saudi Arabia, Ras Al-Khair Industrial City jumpstarted the mining industry development in Saudi Arabia, leveraging the country’s strategic location in connecting three continents. In November 2016, Ras Al-Khair Industrial City was further expanded and connected via railway to Ma’aden’s bauxite mine in Qassim and phosphate mine in Al Jalamid, making it a cornerstone of the Kingdom’s mineral and metal production and export industries.
Ma’aden’s integrated ‘mine to market’ aluminium value chain is the largest in the Middle East and one of the largest in the world, with investments over $11bn. Aluminium products of the highest international standards are sold to both domestic and global markets, encouraging the development of additional downstream aluminium-based industries in Saudi Arabia and neighboring countries. Operations are centered around the largest and most efficient vertically integrated aluminium complex in the world, in Ras Al Khair Industrial City, which also houses sulfur and phosphate production facilities.
Intending to capture the full value of Saudi Arabia’s significant phosphate reserves and develop new mining and mineral activities, in 2018, Ma’aden celebrated the inauguration of the industrial city of Wa’ad Al Shamal by the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdul Aziz. Wa’ad Al Shamal is a world-class industrial and mining city in the Northern Borders region of Saudi Arabia. This phosphate super hub will continue to grow with Ma’aden’s latest phosphate megaproject, which is primed to increase phosphate fertilizer capacity to reach 6 million tonnes, making Ma’aden the world’s third-largest producer of phosphate fertilizer and Saudi Arabia the second largest global exporter.
In 2018, Ma’aden also acquired an 85% stake in Meridian, the Mauritius-based fertilizer distribution group, strengthening its position as one of the world’s largest producers and exporters of phosphate fertilizers. This acquisition marked Ma’aden’s first investment outside the Kingdom, in line with the company’s goal to expand globally and significantly contribute to the Kingdom's Vision 2030.
In 2019, Ma’aden commenced construction of the Mansourah and Massarah gold mine, the company’s largest-ever gold project and the Kingdom’s first project to utilize solar power as an energy source. Once operational, the mine and its processing facilities will have a key role in achieving Ma’aden’s target of producing 1 million ounces of gold per year by 2025.
These accomplishments are all due to the steppingstones set by the Saudi Vision 2030, which laid the foundations for creating an attractive environment for local and foreign investments in promising growth sectors and unlocking new ones, in addition to developing remote areas, bringing technologies and knowledge to the Kingdom, establishing specialized and modern industrial cities, and generating diverse job opportunities for Saudi nationals.