TSX-listed mining company Ivanhoe Mines is committed to the responsible development of the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and will work with the newly elected government to introduce the country to investors from around the world.
This is according to co-chairperson Robert Friedland, who met with DRC President Felix Tshisekedi during the latter’s official US state visit to Washington DC, last week.
In a statement on Monday, Friedland said that it was a time of “historic opportunity” for the responsible development of the DRC’s mining sector, noting that the company’s Kamoa-Kakula would help to cement the DRC as a global, top-tier copper producer, while the Kipushi project has the potential to propel the DRC to also become a significant zinc producer.
Friedland and his co-chairperson Miles Sun have also committed to introduce Tshisekedi to Ivanhoe’s top shareholder – the Citic Group – to discuss engineering, construction and financing solutions for other major infrastructure projects.
“We are confident that Citic Metal and its parent Citic Group have the experience, financial resources and a shared commitment to our objective of advancing these world-class projects to production as quickly as possible and that they have the skills and capability to assist with the country’s rail, road and power infrastructure redevelopment and expansion,” said Friedland.
The Kamoa-Kakula project, which will be one of the world’s biggest copper complexes, is a joint venture (JV) between Ivanhoe, Zijin Mining, Crystal River Global and the DRC government.
The parties are considering an expanded plan for Kamoa-Kakula, which at a production rate of 18-million tonnes a year and peak copper output of 740 000 t/y, will rank the operation ahead of Grasberg, in Indonesia and Oyu Tolgoi, in Mongolia.
The expanded plan for Komoa-Kakula is based on an initial six-million-tonne-a-year mine at Kakula, followed by two six-million-tonne-a-year mines at Kansoko and Kakula West, and a direct-to-blister smelter. The development scenario will require an initial $1.1-billion for Kakula, with the subsequent mines and smelter to be funded by cash flows from the first mine.
Kipushi is a JV between Ivanhoe and State-owned miner Gecamines.