TORONTO, CANADA ‒ Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) today announced its financial results for the year ended December 31, 2020. Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company advancing its three mining projects in Southern Africa: the Kamoa-Kakula copper discovery in theDemocratic Republic of Congo (DRC); the Platreef palladium-platinum-rhodium-nickel-copper-gold discovery in South Africa; and the extensive upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-lead-germanium mine, also in the DRC. All figures are in U.S. dollars unless otherwise stated.
- Development of the Kakula Mine, the first of multiple, planned mining areas at Ivanhoe Mines’ Kamoa-Kakula joint-venture copper project, is making excellent progress. Overall development of Kamoa-Kakula’s first phase, 3.8-million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) mining and milling operation is approximately 80% complete; first copper concentrate production remains on track for July 2021.
- At the end of December 2020, Kamoa-Kakula’s pre-production surface stockpiles contained approximately 1.52 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated blended grade of 4.03% copper, containing more than 61,000 tonnes of copper, with a cost of only $110 million allocated to the stockpile. The combined pre-production high- and medium-grade ore surface stockpiles increased to approximately 2.16 million tonnes at an estimated grade of 4.44% copper at the end of February 2021.
- Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 2 expansion is progressing to plan and is scheduled for Q3 2022 start-up, which will see a doubling of mill throughput to 7.6 Mtpa. Phases 1 and 2 combined are forecast to produce up to approximately 400,000 tonnes of copper per year. Based on independent benchmarking, the project’s phased expansion scenario to 19 Mtpa would position Kamoa-Kakula as the world’s second-largest copper mining complex, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 tonnes.
- Given the current copper price environment, Ivanhoe, together with its partner Zijin, is exploring the acceleration of the Kamoa-Kakula Phase 3 concentrator expansion from 7.6 Mtpa to 11.4 Mtpa, which may be fed from expanded mining operations at Kansoko or a new mining area at Kamoa North (including the Bonanza Zone). Kamoa Copper also is refining its longer-term downstream processing strategy, including the potential construction of a smelter or hydrometallurgical processing facility.
- In December 2020, the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project secured $420 million in project-level credit facilities, including a EUR176 million ($211 million) covered equipment financing facility with a $9 million down-payment facility, and a $200-million line of credit from Zijin Mining. The credit facilities will be used, in part, to construct Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 2 expansion to 7.6 Mtpa.
- In late December 2020, Kamoa-Kakula successfully completed conditions precedent of the equipment financing facility and drew down an initial tranche of $56 million from the facility, and $9 million from the down-payment facility.
- In order to support its growth plans, future capital needs and widen shareholder appeal, Ivanhoe Mines is considering the viability of seeking a secondary stock exchange listing on one or more international stock exchanges. Any such listing would be subject to market conditions and meeting listing requirements.
- Other engineering and construction activities underway at Kamoa-Kakula include the completion of upgrades at the Mwadingusha hydro-electric power plant and associated 220-kilovolt infrastructure to supply the mine with clean, renewable hydropower. The Mwadingusha hydropower plant is expected to deliver approximately 78 megawatts of power to the national electrical grid ahead of the start-up of the Kakula concentrator.
- A 2020 independent audit of Kamoa-Kakula's greenhouse gas intensity metrics performed by Hatch Ltd. of Mississauga, Canada, confirmed that the project will be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced. Kamoa-Kakula’s outstanding economics are combined with first-class sustainability and social initiatives in keeping with the project’s goal of producing the world’s “greenest copper”.
- In 2020, Ivanhoe received environmental certificates on a large package of 100%-owned Western Foreland exploration licences that were acquired in 2019. Ivanhoe plans to soon commence an expansive exploration program on its Western Foreland licences that now total approximately 2,550 square kilometres of highly prospective land holdings in the vicinity of the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence. Ivanhoe’s DRC exploration group is targeting high-grade Kamoa-Kakula-style copper mineralization through a regional exploration and drilling program on the Western Foreland ground, which shares the same geological setting as Kamoa-Kakula.
- In February 2021, Ivanhoe announced that the company’s South African subsidiary, Ivanplats, is arranging project-level financing of up to $420 million to advance development of the world-scale Platreef palladium, platinum, rhodium, nickel, copper and gold project in South Africa.
- Ivanplats has signed a non-binding term sheet with Orion Mine Finance, a leading international provider of production-linked stream financing to base and precious metals mining companies, for a $300 million gold, palladium and platinum streaming facility. Ivanplats also has appointed two prominent, international commercial banks – Societe Generale and Nedbank – as mandated lead arrangers for a senior project debt facility of up to $120 million.
- Ivanplats’ proposed financings follow the November 30, 2020 issuance of the outstanding findings of an independent Platreef Integrated Development Plan 2020 (Platreef IDP20), which consists of an updated feasibility study (Platreef 2020 FS) and a preliminary economic assessment (Platreef 2020 PEA). The initial capital cost for the phased development plan under the Platreef 2020 PEA, starting at a mining rate of 700,000 tonnes per annum (700 ktpa), is estimated at $390 million.
- The Platreef IDP20 reflects the first phase of development for the Platreef Mine. It is designed to establish an operating platform to support potential future expansions up to 12 Mtpa, per previous studies. This would position Platreef among the largest platinum-group-metals mines in the world, producing in excess of 1.1 million ounces of palladium, platinum, rhodium and gold per year.
- Detailed engineering is underway on Platreef’s 700-ktpa initial mine design, 770-ktpa concentrator and associated infrastructure for the phased development plan, which is scheduled to be incorporated into an updated feasibility study before the end of 2021. The Shaft 1 changeover is progressing well in preparation for permanent hoisting by early 2022.
- At the Kipushi Mine redevelopment project in the DRC, the Kipushi Project’s draft feasibility study, and development and financing plan are being reviewed by Ivanhoe Mines together with its joint-venture partner and state-owned mining company, Gécamines. The project is maintaining a reduced workforce to conduct maintenance activities and pumping operations.
- Ivanhoe has made excellent progress in upgrading Kipushi’s underground infrastructure to allow for mining to quickly begin at the ultra-high-grade Big Zinc orebody. Resumption of production at the mine now requires the construction of a surface processing plant and other related surface production facilities. Discussions are continuing with Gécamines to advance a new era of production at Kipushi andit is anticipated that these discussions will be concluded with the finalization of the feasibility study and the agreement on the development and financing plan by mid-2021.
- At the end of 2020, Kamoa-Kakula had reached 2.6 million work hours free of a lost-time injury, Kipushi had reached 2.9 million work hours free of a lost-time injury, and Platreef had reached 59,000 work hours free of a lost-time injury.
Principal projects and review of activities
1. Kamoa-Kakula Project
39.6%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Kamoa-Kakula Project, a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining, has been independently ranked as the world’s fourth-largest copper deposit by international mining consultant Wood Mackenzie. The project is approximately 25 kilometres west of the town of Kolwezi and about 270 kilometres west of Lubumbashi.
Ivanhoe sold a 49.5% share interest in Kamoa Holding Limited (Kamoa Holding) to Zijin Mining in December 2015 for an aggregate consideration of $412 million. In addition, Ivanhoe sold a 1% share interest in Kamoa Holding to privately-owned Crystal River for $8.32 million – which Crystal River will pay through a non-interest-bearing, 10-year promissory note. Since the conclusion of the Zijin transaction in December 2015, each shareholder has been required to fund expenditures at the Kamoa-Kakula Project in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest in Kamoa Holding.
A 5%, non-dilutable interest in the Kamoa-Kakula Project was transferred to the DRC government on September 11, 2012, for no consideration, pursuant to the 2002 DRC mining code. Following the signing of an agreement with the DRC government in November 2016, in which an additional 15% interest in the Kamoa-Kakula Project was transferred to the DRC government, Ivanhoe and Zijin Mining now each hold an indirect 39.6% interest in the Kamoa-Kakula Project, Crystal River holds an indirect 0.8% interest and the DRC government holds a direct 20% interest. Kamoa Holding holds an 80% interest in the project.
The Kakula Mine, with the main pre-production ore stockpiles in the foreground, Kakula’s northern decline (in red circle), and the concentrator and backfill plants in the background.
Health and safety at Kamoa-Kakula
At the end of 2020, the Kamoa-Kakula Project reached 2,618,438 work hours free of a lost-time injury. The project continues to strive toward its workplace objective of zero harm to all employees and contractors.
Kamoa-Kakula continues to focus on prevention, preparation and mitigation in managing the risks associated with COVID-19. Large-scale testing, combined with focused preventative measures, ensures that positive cases are quickly identified, isolated and treated, with cross contamination kept to a minimum.
The project has a well-established COVID-19 isolation facility at the Kamoa Camp. Suspected cases and positive patients are moved to this facility, where they are isolated and treated. Once patients have recovered and are deemed no longer infectious, they can return to work only after an additional quarantine period determined by the project’s medical staff.
Kamoa-Kakula has successfully treated a number of symptomatic patients in the Kamoa Hospital, where highly-experienced doctors and nurses apply the latest medical treatments in a world-class facility.
As the pandemic evolves, the medical team at Kamoa-Kakula continues to review and update its risk mitigation protocols, while ensuring that new medical advances are investigated and applied to protect the health and safety of the workforce and community members.
The new Kamoa Hospital is a world-class medical facility featuring state-of-the-art equipment and highly-experienced doctors, nurses and paramedics.
Outstanding economic results of the Kamoa-Kakula Integrated Development Plan 2020
On September 8, 2020, Ivanhoe Mines announced the results of an independent Integrated Development Plan (IDP) for the Kamoa-Kakula Project. The Kamoa-Kakula Integrated Development Plan 2020 encompasses three development scenarios:
- The definitive feasibility study (DFS) for stage one Kakula Mine development. The Kakula 2020 DFS evaluates the initial development of a 6.0-Mtpa underground mine and surface processing complex at the Kakula Deposit with a capacity of 7.6 Mtpa, built in two modules of 3.8 Mtpa, with the first already under advanced construction.
- The pre-feasibility study (PFS) including Kansoko Mine development. The Kakula-Kansoko 2020 PFS evaluates the development of mining activities at the Kansoko Deposit in addition to the Kakula Mine, initially at a rate of 1.6 Mtpa to fill the concentrator at Kakula, eventually ramping up to 6.0 Mtpa as the reserves at Kakula are depleted.
- The expanded, subsequent development to four producing mines. The Kamoa-Kakula 2020 preliminary economic assessment (PEA) includes an analysis of the potential for an integrated, 19-Mtpa multi-stage development, beginning with initial production from the Kakula Mine, to be followed by subsequent, separate underground mining operations at the nearby Kansoko, Kakula West and Kamoa North mines, along with the construction of a direct-to-blister smelter. The Kamoa North area comprises five separate mines that would be developed as resources are mined out elsewhere, to maintain the production rate at up to 19 Mtpa, with an overall life in excess of 40 years.
The Kamoa-Kakula IDP 2020 was independently prepared on a 100%-basis by OreWin Pty Ltd. of Adelaide, Australia; China Nerin Engineering Co., Ltd., of Jiangxi, China; DRA Global of Johannesburg, South Africa; Epoch Resources of Johannesburg, South Africa; Golder Associates Africa of Midrand, South Africa; KGHM Cuprum R&D Centre Ltd. of Wroclaw, Poland; Outotec Oyj of Helsinki, Finland; Paterson and Cooke of Cape Town, South Africa; Stantec Consulting International LLC of Phoenix, USA; SRK Consulting Inc. of Johannesburg, South Africa; and Wood plc of Reno, USA.
Highlights of the Kakula 2020 DFS, initial 6-Mtpa mine at Kakula, include:
- The Kakula 2020 DFS evaluates the development of a stage one, 6.0-Mtpa underground mine with a surface processing complex at the Kakula Deposit with a capacity of 7.6 Mtpa, built in two modules of 3.8 Mtpa, with the first already under advanced construction. For this option, the DFS envisages an average annual production rate of 284,000 tonnes of copper at a mine-site cash cost of $0.52 per pound (lb) copper and total cash cost of $1.16/lb copper for the first 10 years of operations, and annual copper production of up to 366,000 tonnes by year four.
- Remaining initial capital cost of $0.65 billion for this option would result in an after-tax net present value at an 8% discount rate (NPV8%) of $5.5 billion.
- The internal rate of return of 77.0% and project payback period of 2.3 years confirm the compelling economics for the Kamoa-Kakula Project’s stage one of production.
- Kakula benefits from an ultra-high feed grade averaging 6.6% copper over the first five years of operations, and 5.2% copper on average over a 21-year mine life.
Nadege Santos, Construction Secretary – one of thousands of bright, talented Congolese who are helping to transform Kamoa-Kakula into the world’s next great copper mine. Kamoa Copper is focused on driving positive change for women in mining.
Highlights of the Kakula-Kansoko 2020 PFS, which incorporates Kansoko mine development, include:
- The Kakula-Kansoko 2020 PFS evaluates the development of mining activities at the Kansoko Deposit in addition to Kakula, initially at a rate of 1.6 Mtpa to fill the 7.6-Mtpa concentrator at Kakula, eventually ramping up to 6.0 Mtpa as the reserves at Kakula are depleted. For this option, the PFS envisages an average annual production rate of 331,000 tonnes of copper at a mine-site cash cost of $0.55/lb copper and total cash cost of $1.23/lb copper for the first 10 years of operations, and annual copper production of up to 427,000 tonnes by year four.
- Remaining initial capital cost of $0.69 billion for this option would result in an after-tax net present value at an 8% discount rate (NPV8%) of $6.6 billion. The internal rate of return of 69.0% and project payback period of 2.5 years confirm the compelling economics of Kakula and Kansoko.
- The combined Kakula-Kansoko production benefits from an ultra-high feed grade averaging 6.2% copper over the first five years of operations, and 4.5% copper on average over a 37-year mine life.
Highlights of the modular, integrated, expanded development option potential for the Kakula and Kamoa deposits, mining a total of 19 Mtpa, with construction of a direct-to-blister smelter, include:
- The Kamoa-Kakula 2020 PEA presents an additional development option of a multi-stage, sequential operation on Kamoa-Kakula’s high-grade copper deposits.
- Initial production from the Kakula Mine at a rate of 6.0 Mtpa, followed by subsequent, separate underground mining operations at the nearby Kansoko, Kakula West and Kamoa North mines, along with the construction of a direct-to-blister smelter. The Kamoa North Area comprises five separate mines that will be developed as resources are mined out elsewhere, to maintain the production rate at up to 19 Mtpa, with an overall life in excess of 40 years.
- For the integrated, 19-Mtpa, multi-stage development, the PEA envisages $0.7 billion in remaining initial capital costs. Future expansion at the Kansoko Mine, Kakula West Mine and Kamoa North mines would be funded by cash flows from the Kakula Mine, resulting in an after-tax net present value at an 8% discount rate (NPV8%) of $11.1 billion, an internal rate of return of 56.2%, and a payback period of 3.6 years.
- Under this approach, the PEA also contemplates the construction of a direct-to-blister copper smelter at the Kakula plant site with a capacity to process one million tonnes of copper concentrate per annum to be funded from internal cash flows. This would be completed in year five of operations, achieving significant savings in treatment charges and transportation costs.
- The 19-Mtpa scenario shows the potential for average annual production of 501,000 tonnes of copper at a total cash cost of $1.07/lb copper during the first 10 years of operations, and production of 805,000 tonnes of copper by year eight.
- At this future production rate, Kamoa-Kakula would rank as the world’s second largest copper mine.
The capital costs incurred by the Kamoa-Kakula joint venture in 2019 amounted to $309.1 million, of which $125.2 million was spent on the Kakula declines and mine development. A further capital cost of $643 million, which includes the costs allocated to the pre-production ore stockpiles, has been incurred in 2020. Ivanhoe’s share of the capital costs incurred in 2020 was $318 million, representing its share of approximately 40% of the initial capital costs, plus its share of capital associated with the 20% carried interest owned by the Government of the DRC, which will be repaid through future cash flows from the project. Ivanhoe has budgeted $154 million for its proportionate funding of approximately 50% for the Kamoa-Kakula Project for 2021. As of December 31, 2020, the joint venture had an estimated $336 million of capital costs remaining until initial production.
Ivanhoe expects that it will have sufficient cash resources, or financing options available, to cover its proportionate share of the remaining initial capital costs.
Draw down of equipment financing facility successfully commenced
On December 1, 2020, Ivanhoe announced the Kamoa Holding joint venture had secured an equipment financing facility of up to EUR 176 million (approximately $211 million), together with a $9 million down-payment facility to be used by the Kamoa-Kakula Project to purchase underground mobile mining equipment and services from leading Swedish manufacturers Sandvik AB and Epiroc AB, and Finnish manufacturer Normet Oy.
The facility has an availability period of three years and amortizes over a period of five years from utilization and is tied to underground mining equipment at the Kamoa-Kakula Project. The Swedish Export Credit Agency (EKN) has provided both political and commercial cover to the lenders and receives a one-off premium per tranche’s first utilization.
The EKN guarantee is for an amount up to 85% of the export contract value from the equipment suppliers, and hence the determining factor in the sizing of the equipment finance facility. In order to optimize the overall funding package, a portion of the equipment purchase not covered under the EKN guarantee is being provided by Standard Bank DRC under the down-payment facility.
After the completion of all conditions precedent, the Kamoa-Kakula Project completed the draw-down of an equivalent $56 million of the equipment financing and $9 million of the down-payment facilities in late December 2020 to account for the large fleet of mobile mining equipment already purchased and in operation at the Kakula Mine. Further drawdowns under the equipment finance facilities remain subject to a number of conditions precedent customary for facilities of this nature. The company expects the conditions precedent to be met prior to each utilization.
The equipment finance is secured only by the equipment that is being financed. The down-payment facility is unsecured. No guarantee is required from any of the sponsors or parent companies with Kamoa Holding Limited issuing a non-binding Letter of Support, confirming its support for the project.
In addition, Gold Mountains (H.K.) International Mining Company, a subsidiary of Zijin Mining Group, has provided Kamoa Holding Limited with a limited recourse line of credit of $200 million secured by the project’s pre-production ore stockpiles to fund the Phase 2 concentrator expansion. Kamoa Holding has not yet drawn on this line of credit.
Excellent construction progress being made on Kakula’s concentrator plant; first production expected in July 2021
Overall progress of Kamoa-Kakula’s first-phase, 3.8-Mtpa mining and milling operation (covering mine infrastructure, concentrator plant and surface infrastructure) was approximately 68% complete as of the December 2020 measurement, and progressed to approximately 78% as of the January 2021 measurement.
Construction progress on the project’s first phase 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant and associated facilities is advancing rapidly and was approximately 43% complete in early December 2020 and approximately 62% as of the January 2021 measurement. C1 commissioning has commenced and the concentrator plant remains on track to be mechanically complete in Q2 2021, with first copper concentrate production scheduled for July 2021. The project and construction teams have consistently achieved the milestone dates despite the challenges presented by the COVID-19 pandemic, and have placed Kamoa-Kakula in a position to commission earlier than initially planned in Q3 2021.
Civil works for the first concentrator plant is effectively complete and the civil contractor now is focused on the Phase 2 concentrator plant, with work progressing in most areas.
Electrical, controls & instrumentation (EC&I) installation is the last activity before construction completion and subsequent commissioning. Cable installation and cable termination is well advanced, with more than 150,000 metres of copper cable installed out of a total of 207,000 metres (207 kilometres). The installation of instrumentation is well underway and the energizing of the concentrator plant with medium-voltage power is scheduled for the end of March 2021.
Kakula’s initial 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant, the flotation cells (green) and ball mills (yellow) are more than 85% complete and commissioning now underway. The foundations for the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant are on the left.
Kakula’s Phase 1 backfill plant is nearing completion. Approximately one half of the mine’s tailings will be sent back underground as paste backfill to help support mined-out areas.
Engineering, procurement and construction of other surface infrastructure rapidly progressing
Beijing-based CITIC Construction Co., Ltd. is building Kakula’s first phase, backfill paste plant. The backfill plant will be used to mix tailings from the concentrator plant with cement to produce paste backfill. The backfill will be pumped back into the mine and used to help support mined-out areas. Approximately one half of the mine’s tailings will be sent back underground, significantly reducing the surface tailings storage. Construction of the backfill plant is progressing in parallel with the concentrator plant and is expected to be commissioned in July 2021.
Construction of the tailings storage facility is progressing well and is scheduled to be completed well ahead of the required date.
Construction of the surface bulk reclaim tip, bypass conveyor system and run-of-mine stockpile feed conveyor also is progressing well, with first commissioning and tie into the main decline conveyor planned for early 2021. The bulk reclaim tip system will be used to feed ore from Kakula’s surface stockpiles to the processing circuit, as well as ore from the Kansoko Mine when second phase operations begin.
In early March 2021, David Mitchell, Kasper Badenhorst and Morne Kruger (left to right), members of Kamoa Copper’s construction management team, oversaw the conveying of the first high-grade copper ore directly from Kakula’s underground mine to the run-of-mine stockpile adjacent to the Phase 1 concentrator plant.
Underground development more than 10 kilometres ahead of plan at the end of 2020
A total of 29.8 kilometres of underground development was completed by the end of 2020, which was approximately 10.5 kilometres ahead of plan. Good progress continuing in early 2021 further increased the underground development to more than 35.5 kilometres at the end of February 2021, which is 12.4 kilometres ahead of schedule.
There currently are 10 mining crews (three owner crews and seven contractor crews) at Kakula and three owner crews at Kansoko. The project will continue to add additional crews to further accelerate development.
Holing of Kakula’s main north-south access drives in the high-grade centre of the deposit was achieved in November 2020. The holing has significantly increased ventilation to the centre of the orebody, allowing for additional mining crews to begin highly-productive mining operations in Kakula’s high-grade ore zones.
In addition to advancing the main connecting access drives, underground mining crews at Kakula are focused on preparation work for developing the high grade, drift-and-fill mining blocks in the centre of the orebody. Opening up of the mining footprint for these high grade, drift-and-fill mining areas entails development work in areas of low-, medium- and high-grade ore, and is designed to coincide with the start-up of the concentrator plant next year. This will allow mining crews to deliver significant volumes of high-grade ore directly from Kakula’s underground workings to the concentrator plant.
During 2020, cover drilling ahead of mining faces defined an approximate north-south water-bearing structure present to the west of the current mining areas. Flow rates and pressure readings are being monitored to further understand this zone and inform a hydrogeology model and dewatering strategy for this feature.
George Gilchrist, Ivanhoe Mines’ Vice President, Resources (right), and Franck Twite, Kamoa Copper’s Senior Supervisor, Geology (left), examining chalcocite ore from the Kakula Mine. In February 2021, 107,000 tonnes grading 9.01% copper were mined and stockpiled from the high-grade centre of the Kakula Mine.
Pre-production ore stockpiles now contain approximately 2.16 million tonnes grading 4.44% copper
At the end of December 2020, Kamoa-Kakula’s pre-production surface stockpiles contained approximately 1.52 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated blended grade of 4.03% copper, containing more than 61,000 tonnes of copper. Contained copper in the stockpiles increased by approximately 34,000 tonnes in Q4 2020, reflecting the mining in the ultra-high-grade centre of the Kakula Deposit.
The project’s combined medium-grade and high-grade ore mined was approximately 300,000 tonnes at an average grade of 5.45% copper in January, and approximately 339,000 tonnes at an average grade of 5.50% copper in February. This brings the project’s total pre-production high- and medium-grade ore surface stockpiles to approximately 2.16 million tonnes at an estimated grade of 4.44% copper as of the end of February 2021.
Kamoa-Kakula is on track to have more than three million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore stockpiled on surface, holding more than 125,000 tonnes of contained copper, prior to the planned start of processing in July 2021. The tonnes and grade contained on the stockpiles are not additive to the Mineral Resource or Mineral Reserve.
Kamoa-Kakula’s international team of geologists standing in an ultra-high-grade underground access drift in the Kakula Mine, where the ore grade exceeds 6% copper.
Discussions underway for the marketing of Kakula’s copper concentrates
Kamoa-Kakula is in detailed discussions with a number of parties with respect to the marketing and smelting of its copper concentrates. Kakula is expected to produce an extremely high grade and clean copper concentrate (containing over 55% copper) that will be highly coveted by copper smelters around the world. Metallurgical test work indicates that the Kakula concentrates contain extremely low arsenic levels by world standards – approximately 0.01%.
Kamoa-Kakula connected to the national power grid, providing clean, renewable 220-kV hydropower
The mine is receiving hydro-electric power for the Kamoa 120-kilovolt (kV) overhead line via the 18-megawatt mobile substation, which is connected to the national grid. Energizing of the permanent 35-kilometre, 220-kV power line connecting the New Western Dispatch substation in Kolwezi to Kamoa-Kakula, and thereby supplying the project with reliable and clean hydro-generated electricity from the national grid, was achieved in December 2020. This was a major milestone in securing permanent grid power for the project.
A 2020 independent audit of Kamoa-Kakula's greenhouse gas intensity metrics performed by Hatch Ltd. of Mississauga, Canada, confirmed that the project will be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced.
The main 220-kV substation at the Kakula Mine is nearing completion and is expected to be energized by the end of March. The 35-kilometre-long double circuit 220-kV power line to Kamoa-Kakula connects the substation to the national electrical grid.
Ongoing upgrading work enables Mwadingusha hydropower station to supply clean, sustainable electricity
The upgrading work at the Mwadingusha hydropower plant is nearing completion with the synchronization of the first turbine achieved in December 2020. Electricity from all of Mwadingusha’s six turbines, with an upgraded output of 78 megawatts, is expected to be integrated into the national power grid in the second quarter of 2021.
The work is being conducted by engineering firm Stucky of Lausanne, Switzerland, under the direction of Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining, in conjunction with the DRC’s state-owned power company, La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL).
Construction of Phase 2 of the Kamoa-Kakula project well underway
Engineering, procurement and construction of the second phase of the project, which will double the mine’s processing capacity from 3.8 Mtpa to 7.6 Mtpa, is well underway. The EPCM contract for the plant and associated surface infrastructure was awarded to China ENFI Engineering Corporation.
Orders for all long-lead equipment have been placed and procurement of additional equipment is underway. Contracts for earthworks and civil construction have been awarded and work in the milling and stockpile areas are advancing well. The contract for supply of structural steel also has been awarded.
Contract employees installing rebar for the Phase 2 flotation circuit foundations.
Enriching communities through sustainable development
The Sustainable Livelihoods Program was founded in 2010 in an effort to strengthen food security and farming capacity in the host communities near Kamoa-Kakula by establishing an agricultural training garden and support for farmers at the community level. Today, approximately 350 community farmers are benefiting from the Sustainable Livelihoods Program, producing high-quality food for their families and selling the surplus for additional income. The Sustainable Livelihoods Program, which commenced with maize and vegetable production, now includes both aquaculture and poultry. During 2020, an additional nine fish ponds were constructed and stocked. As Kamoa gears up to take the Livelihood Program to the next level, an agronomy school has been constructed and equipped to offer training programs to local farmers and serve as a research facility.
Additional non-farming-related activities for 2020 include education and literacy programs, the continuation of a community brick-making program and the supply of fresh water to a number of local communities using solar powered boreholes. During 2020, 27 additional boreholes were drilled in communities using local contractors, and a facility for a sewing program was constructed and equipped. A clinic, school, football pitch and two churches also are currently under construction.
Kamoa-Kakula conducted a number of interventions in respect of COVID-19 awareness and prevention. These include the donation of medication, rapid test kits, masks and hand-washing equipment to local communities.
Construction of resettlement houses for the second phase of the relocation program continued throughout the year with 27 families having been relocated. Relocation also took place for the third phase of the relocation program with 19 families relocated during the year. The survey for Kakula North and all crop compensation has been completed, with 108 people receiving compensation pursuant to the economic displacement of their crops and farming structures. The entire Kakula Mine area, including the tailings dam area, will be secured once these relocation phases are complete.
Local women harvesting bananas grown at their community banana plantation, a Kamoa-Kakula Livelihoods program designed to enhance food security.
Alain Mukoj of Kamoa Copper (centre) inspecting a pineapple crop at a local community garden with Prince Kiluba (left) and Erick Kabwita (right).
2. Platreef Project
64%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines
The Platreef Project is owned by Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd (Ivanplats), which is 64%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines. A 26% interest is held by Ivanplats’ historically-disadvantaged, broad-based, black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) partners, which include 20 local host communities with approximately 150,000 people, project employees and local entrepreneurs. Ivanplats reached Level 4 contributor status in its most recent verification assessment on the B-BBEE scorecard. A Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corporation, Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation, and Japan Gas Corporation, owns a 10% interest in Ivanplats, which it acquired in two tranches for a total investment of $290 million.
The Platreef Project hosts an underground deposit of thick, platinum-group metals, nickel, copper and gold mineralization on the Northern Limb of the Bushveld Igneous Complex in Limpopo Province – approximately 280 kilometres northeast of Johannesburg and eight kilometres from the town of Mokopane.
On the Northern Limb, platinum-group metals mineralization is primarily hosted within the Platreef, a mineralized sequence that is traced more than 30 kilometres along strike. Ivanhoe’s Platreef Project, within the Platreef’s southern sector, is comprised of two contiguous properties: Turfspruit and Macalacaskop. Turfspruit, the northernmost property, is contiguous with, and along strike from, Anglo Platinum’s Mogalakwena group of mining operations and properties.
Since 2007, Ivanhoe has focused its exploration and development activities on defining and advancing the down-dip extension of its original discovery at Platreef, now known as the Flatreef Deposit, which is amenable to highly-mechanized, underground mining methods. The Flatreef area lies entirely on the Turfspruit and Macalacaskop properties that form part of the company’s mining right.
Health and safety at Platreef
At the end of 2020, the Platreef Project reached a total of 59,213 lost-time, injury-free hours worked in accordance with South Africa’s Mine Health and Safety Act, and Occupational Health and Safety Act.
As previously reported on September 14, 2020, a tragic accident occurred in Shaft 1 as a result of a kibble bucket falling down the shaft and striking the northern side of the working platform. The legal review process into the accident as outlined by the South African Mine Health and Safety Act is ongoing. The Mine Health and Safety Inspectorate has completed its investigation under Section 60 of the Mine Health and Safety Act. Preliminary findings attributed the primary cause of the tragic accident to a very rare electronic device failure and that all mine safety standards and safe operating procedures were fully complied with. The work stoppage imposed was partially lifted in November 2020 and a full upliftment of the Section 54 stop order was received in January 2021, allowing full access to the Ivanplats team to continue with Shaft 1 equipping.
Leading industry specialists also assisted the Ivanplats team in determining the possible causes resulting in the accident to inform equipping decisions and to ensure reoccurrence is prevented.
Powerful economic results of the Platreef Integrated Development Plan 2020
On November 30, 2020, Ivanhoe Mines published the results of an independent Integrated Development Plan 2020 (IDP20) for the Platreef Project. The Platreef IDP20 encompasses two development scenarios:
- The Platreef 2020 feasibility study (Platreef 2020 FS) updates the feasibility results announced in July 2017. The Platreef 2020 FS evaluates the development of a 4.4 Mtpa underground mine with two concentrators built in modules of 2.2 Mtpa. This update takes into account development schedule advancement since 2017, as well as updated costs, metal prices and foreign exchange assumptions; in addition to increased throughput from 4.0 Mtpa to 4.4 Mtpa to utilize the full processing capacity of the two concentrators.
- The Platreef 2020 preliminary economic assessment (Platreef 2020 PEA) evaluates an alternate, phased development plan that fast-tracks Platreef into production. The Platreef 2020 PEA evaluates a phased development plan starting with an initial 700-ktpa underground mine using the existing Shaft 1 and a new concentrator on site with a capacity of up to 770 ktpa. This phased development plan will be targeting high-grade mining areas in close proximity to the shaft with significantly lower initial capital costs. After first production has been achieved, Shaft 2 sinking will commence in tandem with the construction of two additional 2.2 Mtpa concentrator modules and ramp up of the initial concentrator to its full capacity of 770 ktpa. Total mine production will then ramp up to the envisaged steady-state production of 5.2 Mtpa. Should capital become available sooner, the development of Shaft 2 can be brought forward to accelerate the expansion.
Highlights of the Platreef 2020 FS, include:
- The Platreef 2020 FS evaluates the development of a 4.4-Mtpa underground mine with two concentrators built in modules of 2.2 Mtpa, which updates the 2017 FS by taking into account development schedule advancement, as well as updated costs, metal prices and foreign exchange assumptions.
- The FS has increased throughput from 4.0 Mtpa to 4.4 Mtpa to utilize the full processing capacity of the two concentrators, which is well within the mining and hoisting capability of Shaft 2.
- Tailings storage methodology has been modified to a dry-stack tailings facility – a sustainable and water-efficient method wherein tailings are placed and compacted in a mound that is concurrently rehabilitated with soil and vegetation during the operating life of the facility.
- The FS has an average annual production rate of 508,000 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (3PE+Au), plus 22 million pounds of nickel and 13 million pounds of copper, at a cash cost of $442 per ounce of 3PE+Au, net of by-products, and including sustaining capital costs.
- The project schedule is driven by the sinking of Shaft 2, a 10-metre-diameter shaft with total rock hoisting capacity of up to 6.0 Mtpa, plus a 40-tonne-capacity, double-deck man/material cage capable of transporting fully assembled load-haul-dump vehicles and other equipment to support the mine, with first production targeted in 2025.
- Initial capital cost of $1.4 billion for this option would result in an after-tax net present value at an 8% discount rate (NPV8%) of $1.8 billion and an internal rate of return (IRR) of 19.8%.
- At spot prices as at November 27, 2020, the NPV8% increases to $3.7 billion and the IRR increases to 28.4%.
Highlights of the Platreef 2020 PEA, include:
- The Platreef 2020 PEA evaluates the phased development of Platreef, with an initial 700-ktpa underground mine and a 770-ktpa capacity concentrator, targeting high-grade mining areas close the Shaft 1, with a significantly lower initial capital cost of $390 million.
- First concentrate production for this option is targeted in 2024, with the sinking of Shaft 2 recommencing in 2025 to coincide with the construction of two 2.2-Mtpa concentrators to be completed by 2029 and 2030. This would increase steady production to 5.2 Mtpa by using Shaft 2 as the primary production shaft.
- While the PEA considers the deferral of Shaft 2 sinking to 2025, this is a discrete decision that can commence at any point in time, pending funding.
- By utilizing the 825-ktpa rock-hoisting capacity (including up to 125 ktpa allocated for development rock) of Shaft 1, reduced initial development is required, targeting the nearest and highest-grade stopes with drift-and-fill mining.
- Cost estimates for the phased development plan are largely based on the Platreef 2020 FS, augmented with early drift-and-fill mining and a 770-ktpa concentrator and associated site infrastructure.
- For this option, the PEA envisages phase one during years 1 to 6 at an average annual production rate of 109,000 ounces of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold (3PE+Au), plus 5 million pounds of nickel and 3 million pounds of copper followed by phase two during years 7 to 30 at an average annual production rate of 613,000 ounces of 3PE+Au, plus 27 million pounds of nickel and 16 million pounds of copper.
- The PEA envisages a life-of-mine cash cost of $460 per ounce of 3PE+Au, net of by-products, and including sustaining capital costs.
- The after-tax net present value at an 8% discount rate (NPV8%) is $1.6 billion with an internal rate of return (IRR) of 20.0%. At spot prices as at November 27, 2020, the NPV8% increases to $3.3 billion and the IRR increases to 29.1%.
- Construction of the 950-metre-level station near the bottom of Shaft 1 was recently completed. This station lies within a few hundred metres of the initial high-grade mining zone that would be targeted during the early years of the phased development plan under the 2020 PEA alternative development scenario.
- In parallel with the changeover of Shaft 1 for permanent hoisting, detailed engineering will take place in 2021 on the mine design, 770-ktpa concentrator and associated infrastructure design, which also will include the dry-stack tailings storage facility. In addition, amendments to the water use licence, waste licence and environmental impact assessment required for the phased development plan will be tabled. Following the completion of the changeover, off-shaft development would take place in early 2022, with the initial aim of establishing a ventilation raise to allow for the development of underground infrastructure from 2023.
All figures are on a 100%-project basis unless otherwise stated. The Platreef IDP20 was independently prepared on a 100%-basis by OreWin Pty Ltd. of Adelaide, Australia; Wood plc (formerly Amec Foster Wheeler) of Vancouver, Canada; SRK Consulting Inc. of Johannesburg, South Africa; Stantec Consulting International LLC of Phoenix, USA; DRA Global of Johannesburg, South Africa; and Golder Associates Africa of Midrand, South Africa.
Jan Mapeka, Junior Geologist, inspecting pieces of high-grade ore from the reef intersection. A large-scale sample of the ore is being used for metallurgical testing for the feasibility study on the 770-ktpa mine and concentrator.
Arranging project-level financing of up to $420 million to advance development of Platreef
In February 2021, Ivanplats signed a non-binding term sheet with Orion Mine Finance, a leading international provider of production-linked stream financing to base and precious metals mining companies, for a $300 million gold, palladium and platinum streaming facility. The stream financing remains subject to completion of legal due diligence and structuring, as well as negotiation and execution of definitive documentation. The streaming facility is planned to be drawn down in four separate tranches, as needed, in parallel with the engineering studies to upgrade the Platreef 2020 PEA to a feasibility study and the changeover of Platreef’s Shaft 1 to a production shaft.
Ivanplats also appointed two prominent, international commercial banks – Societe Generale and Nedbank – as mandated lead arrangers for a senior project debt facility of up to $120 million. The senior project debt facility is scheduled to be utilized only after the streaming facility is fully drawn down. Definitive terms and conditions of the debt facility are subject to the completion of the feasibility study for Platreef’s phased development plan, completion of due diligence and structuring, as well as negotiation and execution of definitive documentation. Terms and conditions of the debt facility will be made available when finalized.
Shaft 1 changeover to a production shaft progressing well
The construction of the 996-metre-level station at the bottom of Shaft 1 was completed in July 2020. The completed Shaft 1 is located approximately 350 metres away from a high-grade area of the Flatreef orebody that is planned for bulk-scale, mechanized mining. The three development stations that will provide initial, underground access to the high-grade orebody have also been completed on the 750-, 850-, and 950-metre levels.
The changeover construction at Shaft 1, initially delayed following the September 14, 2020 accident, is progressing to plan and is on schedule for commencement of rock hoisting early in 2022. All equipment for the shaft changeover has been procured and is on site. The detailed engineering designs for the shaft changeover have been completed, reviewed and approved. The changeover work within the shaft will be conducted by Platreef’s experienced owners team.
The winder that was used to successfully sink Shaft 1 will be converted and re-equipped to function as the permanent rock, personnel and material winder for the life of mine. The shaft will be equipped with two 12.5-tonne skips (with hoisting capacity of 825,000 tonnes per year) and an interchangeable personnel and materials cage to accommodate the movement of personnel and materials up and down the shaft during the initial phase of mining.
The shaft will be equipped using rope guides for the main rock, personnel and materials conveyances. The stage and winder ropes used during the sinking phase have been removed, and the equipping stage, new permanent guide-ropes and the new permanent hoisting ropes have been delivered to site. Further to this, an auxiliary winder will be installed mainly to function as a man winder during the main rock hoisting cycle.
The construction of the winder foundations is underway and will be completed in time for the auxiliary winder installation and commissioning. The headgear, both winders, equipping stage, conveyances and control systems will comply with the highest industry safety standards, with proven and tested safety and redundancy systems in place.
Newly-designed rock chutes will connect the conveyors feeding the concentrator plant and the waste rock area, from where the rock will be converted to cemented backfill and also used for protection berms to contain storm water and reduce noise emissions.
The new ropes and the newly-designed and constructed equipping stage will be installed in the shaft by specialist contractors. The equipping in the shaft barrel is scheduled to commence at the end of March 2021 for completion by end of February 2022. Following the completion of the changeover work in the underground stations, and establishment of the ore and waste passes, lateral underground mine development will commence toward high-grade ore zones.
Early-works surface construction for Shaft 2 began in 2017. It includes the excavation of a surface box-cut to a depth of approximately 29 metres below surface and construction of the concrete hitch for the 103-metre-tall concrete headgear (headframe) that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar. Platreef’s budget for 2021 is $59 million, which includes $10 million for commencement of headframe construction for Shaft 2.
Platreef team members preparing Shaft 1’s headframe in advance of the installation of new ropes and the newly-designed and constructed equipping stage by specialist contractors.
Vongani Nkuna, Group Manager, Metallurgy, is part of the team leading the development of Platreef, Ivanhoe’s second Tier One mine development project.
Underground mining to incorporate highly productive, mechanized methods
Mining zones in the current Platreef mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 metres to 1,200 metres below surface. Once expanded mine production is achieved, primary access to the mine will be by way of a 1,104-metre-deep, 10-metre-diameter production shaft (Shaft 2). Secondary access to the mine will be via the 996-metre-deep, 7.25-metre-diameter ventilation shaft (Shaft 1) that recently has been sunk to its final depth. During mine production, both shafts also will serve as ventilation intakes. Three additional ventilation exhaust raises (Ventilation Raise 1, 2, and 3) are planned to achieve steady-state production.
Mining will be performed using highly-productive mechanized methods, including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill. Each method will utilize cemented backfill for maximum ore extraction. The production plans in both the PEA’s initial five-year drift-and-fill mining operation off of Shaft 1 and the larger FS expansion are focused on maximizing higher-grade areas, which was achieved through optimization based on stope locations, stope grades, mining method, and zone productivities. The orebody was targeted to recover approximately 125 million tonnes at the highest net smelter return.
The ore will be hauled from the stopes to a series of internal ore passes and fed to the bottom of Shaft 2, where it will be crushed and hoisted to surface.
Development of human resources and job skills
Consultation regarding the Platreef Project’s second Social and Labour Plan (SLP) is in the final stages. In this second SLP, Ivanplats plans to build on the foundation laid in the first SLP and continue with its training and development suite, which includes 15 new mentors, internal skills training for 78 staff members, a legends program to prepare retiring employees with new/other skills, community adult education training for host community members, core technical skills training for at least 100 community members, portable skills training, and more.
Local economic development projects will contribute to community water source development through the Mogalakwena Municipality boreholes program, as well as provide a significant funding contribution toward sanitation infrastructure at the municipality. Other projects, which will be undertaken in partnership with the neighbouring Anglo Mogalakwena Mine, include the refurbishment and equipping of a clinic in the Tshamahansi Village.
The enterprise and supplier development commitments comprise of expanding the existing kiosk and laundry facilities even further and adding expanded change house facilities to be managed by a community partner in the future. A five-year integrated business accelerator and funding project will assist community members interested to obtain help with development and supplier readiness.
During 2020, and in the absence of an approved SLP due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Platreef Project has continued supporting a number of educational programs, including the e-learning project and the maintenance of science and computer laboratories, as well as the provision of free Wi-Fi in host communities. The Platreef Project also planted 25 trees at two local schools in the mine’s footprint area and promoted educational activities centered on climate change and health.
Victor Skinner, Winder Technician, installing cables at Shaft 1’s new winder house.
3. Kipushi Project
68%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines
Democratic Republic of Congo
The Kipushi copper-zinc-germanium-silver-lead mine in the DRC is adjacent to the town of Kipushi and approximately 30 kilometres southwest of Lubumbashi. It is located on the Central African Copperbelt, approximately 250 kilometres southeast of the Kamoa-Kakula Project and less than one kilometre from the Zambian border. Ivanhoe acquired its 68% interest in the Kipushi Project in November 2011; the balance of 32% is held by the state-owned mining company, Gécamines.
As part of the company’s cost-cutting measures announced on April 27, 2020, Ivanhoe’s board of directors allocated a reduced total budget for 2020 of $28.7 million for the Kipushi Project.
Health and safety at Kipushi
At the end of December 2020, the Kipushi Project reached a total of 2,918,693 work hours free of lost-time injuries and 766 lost-time injury-free shifts. It has been more than two years since the last lost-time injury occurred at the Kipushi Project.
In response to government-imposed travel restrictions and emergency protocols being introduced worldwide due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kipushi has temporarily suspended mine development operations to reduce the risk to the workforce and local communities. The project maintained a reduced workforce to safely and cost-effectively maintain infrastructure and pumping systems and to execute planned projects.
The Kipushi Project operates a potable-water station for the daily supply of water to the municipality of Kipushi. This support includes power supply, disinfectant chemicals, routine maintenance, security, and emergency repair of leaks to the primary reticulation. During 2020, two additional solar-power boreholes were established, providing clean potable water to a further two host communities near Kipushi and bringing the total number of boreholes to seven.
Other community development projects included the donation of 5,000 N95 face masks to host communities, the donation of additional infrared thermometers to the Health Zone management, and the sponsorship of a COVID-19 awareness campaign broadcast on local radio. Additional COVID-19 awareness efforts include signboards erected throughout the town and a motorized caravan that rotates within urban and rural areas thrice per week, broadcasting prevention messages. The sewing training centre project produces cloth face masks and donates approximately 2,000 masks a month to host communities.
During 2020, the Kipushi Project has implemented a Sustainable Livelihoods Program, commencing with a poultry farming initiative established for the benefit of a consortium of local women.
Kipushi’s definitive feasibility study in final stages of completion
The Kipushi Project’s pre-feasibility study (PFS), announced by Ivanhoe Mines on December 13, 2017, anticipated annual production of an average of 381,000 tonnes of zinc concentrate over an 11-year, initial mine life at a total cash cost of approximately $0.48 per pound (lb) of zinc.
Highlights of the PFS, based on a long-term zinc price of $1.10/lb, include:
- After-tax net present value (NPV) at an 8% real discount rate of $683 million.
- After-tax real internal rate of return (IRR) of 35.3%.
- After-tax project payback period of 2.2 years.
- Pre-production capital costs, including contingency, of $337 million.
- Existing surface and underground infrastructure allows for significantly lower capital costs than comparable greenfield development projects.
- Life-of-mine average planned zinc concentrate production of 381,000 dry tonnes per annum, with a concentrate grade of 59% zinc, is expected to rank Kipushi, once in production, among the world’s largest zinc mines.
All figures are on a 100%-project basis unless otherwise stated. Estimated life-of-mine average cash cost of $0.48/lb of zinc is expected to rank Kipushi, once in production, in the bottom quartile of the cash-cost curve for zinc producers internationally.
The draft feasibility study and development and financing plan for Kipushi are being reviewed by Ivanhoe Mines together with its partner Gécamines. It is anticipated that these discussions will be concluded with the finalization of the feasibility study and the agreement on the development and financing plan by mid-2021.
Project development and infrastructure
Although development and rehabilitation activities in the year ending December 31, 2020 were limited, significant progress has been made in recent years to modernize the Kipushi Mine’s underground infrastructure as part of preparations for the mine to resume commercial production, including upgrading a series of vertical mine shafts to various depths, with associated headframes, as well as underground mine excavations and infrastructure. A series of crosscuts and ventilation infrastructure still is in working condition and have been cleared of old materials and equipment to facilitate modern, mechanized mining. The underground infrastructure also includes a series of high-capacity pumps to manage the mine’s water levels, which now are easily maintained at the bottom of the mine.
Shaft 5 is eight metres in diameter and 1,240 metres deep and has been upgraded and re-commissioned. The main personnel and material winder has been upgraded and modernized to meet international industry standards and safety criteria. The Shaft 5 rock-hoisting winder also is fully operational with new rock skips, new head- and tail-ropes, and attachments installed. The two newly-manufactured rock conveyances (skips) and the supporting frames (bridles) have been installed in the shaft to facilitate the hoisting of rock from the main ore and waste storage silos feeding rock on the 1,200-metre level.
The main haulage way on the 1,150-metre level, between the Big Zinc access decline and Shaft 5 rock load-out facilities, has been resurfaced with concrete so the mine now can use modern, trackless, mobile machinery. A new truck-tipping bin, which feeds into the large-capacity rock crusher located directly below, has been installed on this level. The old winder at P2 Shaft has been removed and construction of the new foundation, along with assembly and installation of the new modern winder, has been completed and fully commissioned after passing safety inspection and testing procedures.
Crew performing maintenance at Kipushi’s 850-metre-level pumping station.
Kyungu Kabulo, Instrumentation Assistant (left), and Junior Kisula Ngoy, Instrumentation Engineer (right), installing probes and a balance disk on a Grifo pump at Kipushi’s 1,200-metre-level pumping station.
4. Western Foreland Exploration Project
100%-owned and 90%-owned by Ivanhoe Mines
Democratic Republic of Congo
Ivanhoe’s DRC exploration group is targeting Kamoa-Kakula-style copper mineralization through a regional exploration and drilling program on its Western Foreland exploration licences, located to the north, south and west of the Kamoa-Kakula Project. Ivanhoe’s Western Foreland Exploration Project consists of 17 licences that cover a combined area of approximately 2,550 square kilometres.
Exploration models that successfully led to the discoveries of Kakula, Kakula West, and the Kamoa North Bonanza Zone on the Kamoa-Kakula joint-venture mining licence, are being applied to the Western Foreland extensive land package by the same team of exploration geologists responsible for the previous discoveries.
Exploration activities at the Western Foreland area continued during Q4 2020 with the field season ending in mid-December. The target of the 2020 field season was to increase geological understanding for the new permits, as well as to generate targets for future exploration and drilling. Drilling focused on wide-spaced drill holes along strike to the west of the Makoko Deposit. The drill core from the program is being processed for analysis and detailed rock physical property test work also is carried out to further geological understanding, as well as the ability of the data to be used for future larger-scale geophysical test work and analysis.
The 2020 field season focused initially on a program of validation work on each of the permits to provide a required report back to the government and fulfil legal obligations. The majority of the field season focused on initial mapping of the sub-crop region with the collection of grab samples, mapping of exposed rocks in streams and rivers, and stream and surface sampling.
In Q4 2020, a total of eight new diamond drill holes were completed at the Makoko prospect and along strike of Makoko to the west. The drilling aimed to confirm the continuation of prospective lower Nguba stratigraphy westwards toward the new exploration permits. Diamond drilling was completed on northwest-southeast fences every 1,000 metres, with typically two to three holes drilled on each fence and spaced approximately 200 metres apart. Holes drilled generally were around 400 to 500 metres deep, with some shallower holes. A total of 3,412 metres were drilled during the quarter. Exploration also continued on the Western Foreland exploration licences with strict procedures in place to protect employees and drilling contractors from COVID-19. The exploration work, as well as drilling, included field mapping, stream sediment and soil sampling. In total, 347 stream sediment samples and 116 soil samples were collected and processed for preliminary XRF (pXRF) analysis on-site, then exported for external assay analysis.
The total data collected during 2020 was 958 soil samples, 411 stream samples, 133 rock grab samples and 981 mapping points. A total of 21 holes totalling 8,212 metres were drilled during 2020. The remaining set of soil, rock chips, stream and diamond drilling samples were dispatched to Bureau Veritas laboratory in Perth at the end of the year.
On February 10, 2021, Ivanhoe Mines announced that assay results from drilling completed in early 2020 confirm the extension of the Kamoa North high-grade copper structure for at least 800 metres in the Kiala Discovery area.
The high-grade copper zone at the Kiala Discovery was originally discovered on the Kamoa-Kakula mining licence and delineated through a series of step-out fences of holes drilled on 100-metre spacings in a northerly direction onto Ivanhoe’s 100%-owned exploration licences.
The structure controlling the zone of high-grade copper remains open to the north, and Ivanhoe now has secured 35 kilometres of highly-prospective, 100%-owned exploration ground along trend and to the north of the Kiala Discovery.
Selected drill holes at the Kiala Discovery include:
- DKIA_DD007 intersected 7.21 metres (true width) of 7.98% copper, at a 1% and 2% copper cut-off, from 345.44 metres down hole.
- DKIA_DD011 intersected 3.82 metres (true width) of 5.35% copper, at a 1% and 2% copper cut-off, from 348.00 metres down hole.
- DKIA_DD014 intersected 5.30 metres (true width) of 12.42% copper, at a 1% and 2% copper cut-off, from 366.70 metres down hole.
- DKIA_DD016 intersected 3.59 metres (true width) of 9.71% copper, at a 1% and 2% copper cut-off, from 351.40 metres down hole.
Drilling at the Kiala Discovery in early 2020.
Plan view of the Kiala high-grade zone showing copper grades.
On February 10, 2021, Ivanhoe Mines also announced that drilling at the Makoko Sud Discovery intercepted significant, shallow copper mineralization (including up to 6.01 metres grading 3.38% copper) over a 7.5-kilometre strike length in a south-westerly direction along strike from the initial Makoko Sud Discovery area. Road clearance commenced in the second half of 2020 to extend the current exploration opportunities to the south and west from Makoko Sud.
Significant new drill intercepts from Makoko West include:
- DMKK_DD117, a 3.6-kilometre step-out hole from previous Makoko Sud drilling, intersected 6.01 metres (true width) of 3.38% copper, at a 2% copper cut-off from 259.72 metres down hole and 9.75 metres (true width) of 2.63% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
- DMKK_DD118, a 1.6-kilometre step-out hole from previous Makoko Sud drilling, intersected 4.19 metres (true width) of 3.01% copper, at a 2% copper cut-off from 209.50 metres down hole and 5.15 metres (true width) of 2.78% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
- DMKK_DD123, a 7.5-kilometre step-out hole from previous Makoko Sud drilling, intersected 3.33 metres (true width) of 1.44% copper, at a 2% copper cut-off from 570 metres down hole and 17.77 metres (true width) of 1.39% copper at a 1% copper cut-off.
The recent Makoko West drilling is extremely significant for the exploration potential of the new exploration permits as it demonstrates that the target stratigraphy extends westward and that the copper mineralizing system on the western edge of the basin is laterally extensive. Future drilling in the Makoko West area will target specific structural locations that are conducive to developing higher copper grades.
The planned high-resolution magnetic and radiometric survey commenced during Q4 2020 and continued through until the end of December. In total, 61% of the data acquisition was completed during 2020 with the remainder planned for the first half of 2021. Preliminary data and imagery were received during the acquisition, as different areas were flown.
Construction of a 16-kilometre road to gain access to new exploration target areas on the new western permits began during Q4 2020, running from the Makoko exploration area out to the west. The work will continue until the end of Q1 2021. In addition, a new bridge over the Lubudi River will be constructed to gain access to new exploration permits. Bridge construction started in Q4 2020 and is expected to be completed at the end of Q1 2021 in preparation for the dry season.
The initial 2021 exploration program includes 40,000 metres of combined aircore and diamond drilling, airborne and ground-based geophysics, soil sampling and road construction. Fieldwork will begin at the start of the 2021 dry season, which typically begins in April. The initial 2021 budget is $16 million, which may be expanded based on program results. Much of this year’s exploration will focus on the more than 1,700 square kilometres of new, 100%-owned permits that were acquired in 2019 and received environmental certification in 2020.
SELECTED ANNUAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
This selected financial information is in accordance with IFRS as presented in the annual consolidated financial statements. Ivanhoe had no operating revenue in any financial reporting period and did not declare or pay any dividend or distribution in any financial reporting period.
DISCUSSION OF RESULTS OF OPERATIONS
Review of the year ended December 31, 2020 vs. December 31, 2019
The company recorded total comprehensive loss of $45.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to a total comprehensive income of $20.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2019.
Exploration and project expenditure amounted to $44.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2020 and was $33.1 million more than for the same period in 2019 ($11.6 million). While all the exploration and project expenditure incurred in 2019 related to exploration at Ivanhoe’s 100%-owned Western Foreland exploration licences, 2020 also included $36.2 million spent at the Kipushi Project which was on reduced activities and incurred limited cost of a capital nature in 2020.
The main classes of expenditure at the Kipushi Project for the year ended December 31, 2020, and for the same period in 2019 are set out in the following table:
Finance income amounted to $80.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, and $72.4 million for the same period in 2019. Included in finance income is the interest earned on loans to the Kamoa Holding joint venture to fund operations that amounted to $70.4 million for 2020, and $53.5 million for 2019. Interest increased as the accumulated loan balance increased. Interest received on cash and cash equivalents decreased due to interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve.
The company recognized a foreign exchange gain of $14.9 million for the year ended December 31, 2019, compared to a foreign exchange loss of $0.6 million for the same period for 2020. The gain in 2019 resulted from the company converting Canadian Dollar cash to U.S. dollars at favourable exchange rates.
The company’s share of losses from the Kamoa Holding joint venture was $26.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2020, compared to a loss of $24.8 million for the same period in 2019, the breakdown of which is summarized in the following table:
The interest expense in the Kamoa Holding joint venture relates to shareholder loans where each shareholder is required to fund Kamoa Holding in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest. The company is advancing Crystal River’s portion on its behalf in return for an increase in the promissory note due to Ivanhoe.
Financial position as at December 31, 2020 vs. December 31, 2019
The company’s total assets decreased by $27.6 million, from $2,444.7 million as at December 31, 2019, to $2,417.1 million as at December 31, 2020. The company utilized $60.5 million of its cash resources in its operations and received interest of $4.6 million on cash and cash equivalents during the year ended December 31, 2020.
The net increase of property, plant and equipment amounted to $29.6 million, with a total of $41.9 million being spent on project development and to acquire other property, plant and equipment. Of this total, $37.7 million pertained to development costs and other acquisitions of property, plant and equipment at the Platreef Project.
The main components of the additions to property, plant and equipment – including capitalized development costs – at the Platreef Project for the year ended December 31, 2020, and for the same period in 2019, are set out in the following table:
Costs incurred at the Platreef Project are deemed necessary to bring the project to commercial production and are therefore capitalized as property, plant and equipment.
The company’s investment in the Kamoa Holding joint venture increased by $376.9 million from $912.6 million as at December 31, 2019, to $1,289.5 million as at December 31, 2020, with each of the current shareholders funding the operations equivalent to their proportionate shareholding interest. The company’s portion of the Kamoa Holding joint venture cash calls amounted to $333.3 million during the year ended December 31, 2020, while the company’s share of losses from the joint venture amounted to $26.8 million.
The company’s investment in the Kamoa Holding joint venture can be broken down as follows:
The Kamoa Holding joint venture’s net increase in property, plant and equipment from December 31, 2019, to December 31, 2020, amounted to $589.3 million and can be further broken down as follows:
The company’s total liabilities decreased by $1.3 million to $80.6 million as at December 31, 2020, from $81.9 million as at December 31, 2019, due to a $3.9 million decrease in the lease liability.
SELECTED QUARTERLY FINANCIAL INFORMATION
The following table summarizes selected financial information for the prior eight quarters. Ivanhoe had no operating revenue in any financial reporting period and did not declare or pay any dividend or distribution in any financial reporting period.
Review of the three months ended December 31, 2020 vs. December 31, 2019
The company recorded total comprehensive income of $31.8 million for Q4 2020 compared to $25.5 million for the same period in 2019. The majority of the income in Q4 2020 mainly was due to an exchange gain on translation of foreign operations of $42.7 million resulting from the strengthening of the South African Rand from September 30, 2020, to December 31, 2020. The company recognized an exchange gain on translation of foreign operations in Q4 2019 of $20.7 million.
Salaries and benefits of $3.5 million for Q4 2020 was $3.9 million less than for the same period in 2019 ($7.4 million) due to the company suspending short-term incentive award payments to senior management, reducing its global office footprint and reducing its senior management headcount as part of company-wide, cash-saving measures.
Finance income for Q4 2020, amounted to $21.0 million, and was $0.2 million more than for the same period in 2019 ($20.8 million). Included in finance income is the interest earned on loans to the Kamoa Holding joint venture to fund operations that amounted to $19.8 million for Q4 2020, and $15.1 million for the same period in 2019. Interest increased as the accumulated loan balance increased. Interest received on cash and cash equivalents decreased due to interest rate cuts by the US Federal Reserve.
Exploration and project expenditure amounted to $13.8 million in Q4 2020 and $3.7 million for the same period in 2019. While all the exploration and project expenditure incurred in Q4 2019 related to exploration at Ivanhoe’s 100%-owned Western Foreland exploration licences, Q4 2020 also included $11.0 million spent at the Kipushi Project which incurred limited costs of a capital nature in the quarter due to reduced activities. The main classes of expenditure at the Kipushi Project in Q4 2020 and Q4 2019 are set out in the following table:
The company’s share of losses from the Kamoa Holding joint venture increased from $5.6 million in Q4 2019 to $6.2 million in Q4 2020. The following table summarizes the company’s share of the losses of Kamoa Holding for the three months ended December 31, 2020, and for the same period in 2019:
The finance costs in the Kamoa Holding joint venture relates to shareholder loans where each shareholder is required to fund Kamoa Holding in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest. The company is advancing Crystal River’s portion on its behalf in return for an increase in the promissory note due to Ivanhoe.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
The company had $262.8 million in cash and cash equivalents as at December 31, 2020. At this date, the company had consolidated working capital of approximately $308.0 million, compared to $688.5 million as at December 31, 2019.
Since December 8, 2015, each shareholder in Kamoa Holding has been required to fund Kamoa Holding in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest. The company is advancing Crystal River’s portion on its behalf in return for an increase in the promissory note due to Ivanhoe.
The Platreef Project’s current expenditure is being funded solely by Ivanhoe, through an interest bearing loan to Ivanplats, as the Japanese consortium has elected not to contribute to current expenditures.
The company’s main objectives for 2021 at the Platreef Project is the detailed engineering and updated feasibility study for the phased development plan, progression of the Shaft 1 changeover and the construction of the Shaft 2 headframe to the collar. At Kipushi, cost-saving measures will continue until the finalization of the feasibility study and the development and financing plan is agreed. Mine development at the Kamoa-Kakula Project continues with first production now expected in July 2021 and the Phase 2 concentrator expansion is being fast tracked. The company has budgeted to spend $59 million on further development at the Platreef Project; $27 million at the Kipushi Project; and $28 million on corporate overheads for 2021. Exploration activities on the Western Foreland's exploration project in DRC will continue in 2021 with an initial budget of $16 million, which may be expanded based on program results. The company’s proportionate funding of the Kamoa-Kakula Project is expected to be $154million for 2021, with the assumption that additional equipment purchases would be funded through the equipment financing facilities and that expenditure on Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 2 would be funded through the limited recourse line of credit from Zijin.
As Ivanhoe continues to advance its projects, the company’s management has reviewed and assessed numerous alternatives to finance its share of construction costs for the Kakula Copper Mine and to advance exploration and development initiatives at its other projects in Southern Africa. These alternatives include, but are not limited to, existing liquidity sources, including cash, receivables and investments, selling assets, project financing, streaming or royalty transactions, and equipment and debt financing. While Ivanhoe expects that it will continue to have sufficient cash resources or project-related financing options available to cover its share of the initial capital costs at the Kakula Mine, the company will continue to seek out and review opportunities presented to Ivanhoe, having regard to the best interests of Ivanhoe as well as to Ivanhoe’s operations and financial position, industry conditions and geopolitical considerations.
The company is required to fund its Kamoa Holding joint venture in an amount equivalent to its proportionate shareholding interest.
This news release should be read in conjunction with Ivanhoe Mines’ audited 2020 Financial Statements and Management’s Discussion and Analysis report available at www.ivanhoemines.com and at www.sedar.com .
Qualified Persons and NI 43-101 Technical Reports
Disclosures of a scientific or technical nature regarding the revised capital expenditure and development scenarios at the Kamoa-Kakula Project in this news release have been reviewed and approved by Steve Amos, who is considered, by virtue of his education, experience and professional association, a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101. Mr. Amos is not considered independent under NI 43-101 as he is the Head of the Kamoa Project. Mr. Amos has verified the technical data disclosed in this news release.
Other disclosures of a scientific or technical nature regarding the Kakula and Kansoko stockpiles in this news release have been reviewed and approved by George Gilchrist, who is considered, by virtue of his education, experience and professional association, a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101. Mr. Gilchrist is not considered independent under NI 43-101 as he is the Vice President, Resources of Ivanhoe Mines. Mr. Gilchrist has verified the other technical data disclosed in this news release.
Other disclosures of a scientific or technical nature in this news release have been reviewed and approved by Stephen Torr, who is considered, by virtue of his education, experience and professional association, a Qualified Person under the terms of NI 43-101. Mr. Torr is not considered independent under NI 43-101 as he is the Vice President, Project Geology and Evaluation. Mr. Torr has verified the other technical data disclosed in this news release.
Ivanhoe has prepared a current, independent, NI 43-101-compliant technical report for each of the Platreef Project, the Kipushi Project and the Kamoa-Kakula Project, which are available under the company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com :
- The Kamoa-Kakula Integrated Development Plan 2020 dated October 13, 2020, prepared by OreWin Pty Ltd., China Nerin Engineering Co., Ltd., DRA Global, Epoch Resources, Golder Associates Africa, KGHM Cuprum R&D Centre Ltd., Outotec Oyj, Paterson and Cooke, Stantec Consulting International LLC, SRK Consulting Inc., and Wood plc., covering the company’s Kamoa-Kakula Project;
- The Platreef Integrated Development Plan 2020 dated December 6, 2020, prepared by OreWin Pty Ltd., Wood plc (formerly Amec Foster Wheeler), SRK Consulting Inc., Stantec Consulting International LLC, DRA Global, and Golder Associates Africa, covering the company’s Platreef Project; and
- The Kipushi 2019 Mineral Resource Update dated March 28, 2019, prepared by OreWin Pty Ltd., MSA Group (Pty) Ltd., SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd, and MDM (Technical) Africa Pty Ltd. (a division of Wood PLC), covering the company’s Kipushi Project.
These technical reports include relevant information regarding the effective dates and the assumptions, parameters and methods of the mineral resource estimates on the Platreef Project, the Kipushi Project and the Kamoa-Kakula Project cited in this news release, as well as information regarding data verification, exploration procedures and other matters relevant to the scientific and technical disclosure contained in this news release in respect of the Platreef Project, Kipushi Project and Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834
Matthew Keevil +1.604.558.1034
Certain statements in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” or “forward-looking information” within the meaning of applicable securities laws. Such statements and information involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause the actual results, performance or achievements of the company, its projects, or industry results, to be materially different from any future results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements or information. Such statements can be identified by the use of words such as “may”, “would”, “could”, “will”, “intend”, “expect”, “believe”, “plan”, “anticipate”, “estimate”, “scheduled”, “forecast”, “predict” and other similar terminology, or state that certain actions, events or results “may”, “could”, “would”, “might” or “will” be taken, occur or be achieved. These statements reflect the company’s current expectations regarding future events, performance and results and speak only as of the date of the company’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2020.
Such statements include without limitation, the timing and results of: (i) statements regarding the capital costs remaining until initial production for the Kamoa-Kakula joint venture estimated at $336 million as of December 31, 2020; (ii) statements that Ivanhoe expects that it will have sufficient cash resources, or financing options available, to cover its proportionate share of the remaining initial capital costs at the Kamoa-Kakula Project; (iii) statements regarding progress and schedule of the Kamoa-Kakula Project’s concentrator plant, including that it remains on track to be mechanically complete in Q2 2021, with first copper concentrate production scheduled for July 2021; (iv) statements that construction of the Kamoa-Kakula backfill plant is progressing in parallel with the concentrator plant and is expected to be commissioned in July 2021; (v) statements regarding the expected progress on other construction at the Kamoa-Kakula Project, including that the tailings storage facility is scheduled to be completed well ahead of the required date; (vi) statements that the Kamoa-Kakula Project will continue to add additional crews and that the pace of underground development is expected to continue to accelerate as additional mining crews are mobilized; (vii) statements that Kamoa-Kakula is on track to have more than three million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore stockpiled on surface, holding more than 125,000 tonnes of contained copper, prior to the planned start of processing in July 2021; (viii) statements that Kakula is expected to produce an extremely high grade and clean copper concentrate (containing over 55% copper) that will be highly coveted by copper smelters around the world; (ix) statements regarding the Kamoa-Kakula Project being among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced; (x) statements regarding refurbishment of six turbines at the Mwadingusha hydro-electric power plant and that electricity from all of Mwadingusha’s six turbines are expected to be integrated into the national power grid in the second quarter of 2021; (xi) statements regarding the Platreef Project’s streaming facility, including that it is planned to be drawn down in four separate tranches; (xii) statements regarding the Platreef Projects’ Shaft 1 changeover including that it is expected to be completed by February 2022; (xiii) statements regarding the planned mining methods at Platreef will use highly productive, mechanized methods, including long-hole stoping and drift-and-fill mining, and that each method will utilize cemented backfill for maximum ore extraction; (xiv) statements that the draft feasibility study and development and financing plan for Kipushi are being reviewed by Ivanhoe Mines together with its partner Gécamines and that it is anticipated that these discussions will be concluded with the finalization of the feasibility study and the agreement on the development and financing plan by mid-2021; (xv) statements regarding future drilling in the Makoko West area including that it will target specific structural locations that are conducive to developing higher copper grades; (xvi) statements that mine development at the Kamoa-Kakula Project continues with first production now expected in July 2021 and the Phase 2 concentrator expansion is being fast tracked; (xvii) statements regarding the expected expenditure for 2021 of $59 million on further development at the Platreef Project; $27 million at the Kipushi Project; $16 million on regional exploration in the DRC; and $28 million on corporate overheads – as well as its proportionate funding of the Kamoa-Kakula Project, expected to be $154 million for 2021.
As well, all of the results of the pre-feasibility study for the Kakula copper mine and the updated and expanded Kamoa-Kakula Project preliminary economic assessment, the feasibility study of the Platreef Project and the pre-feasibility study of the Kipushi Project, constitute forward-looking statements or information, and include future estimates of internal rates of return, net present value, future production, estimates of cash cost, proposed mining plans and methods, mine life estimates, cash flow forecasts, metal recoveries, estimates of capital and operating costs and the size and timing of phased development of the projects. Furthermore, with respect to this specific forward-looking information concerning the development of the Kamoa-Kakula, Platreef and Kipushi projects, the company has based its assumptions and analysis on certain factors that are inherently uncertain. Uncertainties include: (i) the adequacy of infrastructure; (ii) geological characteristics; (iii) metallurgical characteristics of the mineralization; (iv) the ability to develop adequate processing capacity; (v) the price of copper, nickel, zinc, platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold; (vi) the availability of equipment and facilities necessary to complete development; (vii) the cost of consumables and mining and processing equipment; (viii) unforeseen technological and engineering problems; (ix) accidents or acts of sabotage or terrorism; (x) currency fluctuations; (xi) changes in regulations; (xii) the compliance by joint venture partners with terms of agreements; (xiii) the availability and productivity of skilled labour; (xiv) the regulation of the mining industry by various governmental agencies; (xv) the ability to raise sufficient capital to develop such projects; (xvi) changes in project scope or design, and (xvii) political factors.
This news release also contains references to estimates of Mineral Resources and Mineral Reserves. The estimation of Mineral Resources is inherently uncertain and involves subjective judgments about many relevant factors. Estimates of Mineral Reserves provide more certainty but still involve similar subjective judgments. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. The accuracy of any such estimates is a function of the quantity and quality of available data, and of the assumptions made and judgments used in engineering and geological interpretation (including estimated future production from the company’s projects, the anticipated tonnages and grades that will be mined and the estimated level of recovery that will be realized), which may prove to be unreliable and depend, to a certain extent, upon the analysis of drilling results and statistical inferences that ultimately may prove to be inaccurate. Mineral Resource or Mineral Reserve estimates may have to be re-estimated based on: (i) fluctuations in copper, nickel, zinc, platinum group elements (PGE), gold or other mineral prices; (ii) results of drilling; (iii) metallurgical testing and other studies; (iv) proposed mining operations, including dilution; (v) the evaluation of mine plans subsequent to the date of any estimates and/or changes in mine plans; (vi) the possible failure to receive required permits, approvals and licences; and (vii) changes in law or regulation.
Forward-looking statements and information involve significant risks and uncertainties, should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results and will not necessarily be accurate indicators of whether or not such results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause actual results to differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements or information, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed below and under “Risk Factors”, and elsewhere in the company’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2020, as well as unexpected changes in laws, rules or regulations, or their enforcement by applicable authorities; the failure of parties to contracts with the company to perform as agreed; social or labour unrest; changes in commodity prices; and the failure of exploration programs or studies to deliver anticipated results or results that would justify and support continued exploration, studies, development or operations.
Although the forward-looking statements contained in this news release are based upon what management of the company believes are reasonable assumptions, the company cannot assure investors that actual results will be consistent with these forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and are expressly qualified in their entirety by this cautionary statement. Subject to applicable securities laws, the company does not assume any obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements contained herein to reflect events or circumstances occurring after the date of this news release.
The company’s actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these forward-looking statements as a result of the factors set forth in the “Risk Factors” section and elsewhere in the company’s MD&A for the year ended December 31, 2020.
加拿大多伦多 — 艾芬豪矿业 (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) 今天公布其截至 2020 年 12 月 31 日 止的年度财务业绩。艾芬豪矿业是一家加拿大的矿业公司，目前正推进旗下位于南部非洲的三大矿产项目﹕位于刚果民主共和国 (以下简称"刚果(金)") 的卡莫阿-卡库拉(Kamoa-Kakula)铜探矿区和位于南非的普拉特瑞夫(Platreef)钯-铂-铑-镍-铜-金探矿区，以及同样位于刚果(金)、久负盛名的基普什 (Kipushi) 锌-铜-锗-银矿的大型改善工程。除非另有说明，所有数字均以美元为单位。
- 截至2020年12月底，卡莫阿-卡库拉的投产前地表堆场，已储备了约152万吨高品位和中品位矿石，平均铜品位约4.03%，含有超过61,000吨铜金属量，矿堆分摊的成本仅为1.10亿元。截至 2021年2月底，项目投产前的高品位和中品位矿石地表堆场共储备了216万吨矿石，平均铜品位约4.44%。
- 鉴于当前的铜价走势，艾芬豪与其合资伙伴紫金矿业正积极研究加快卡莫阿-卡库拉的III期扩建，将产能从760万吨/年提升至1,140万吨/年，将由卡索科 (Kansoko) 和卡莫阿北部 (包括富矿区) 新的采区供给矿石。同时，卡莫阿铜业正在完善其下游选矿的长期战略，包括探讨新建冶炼厂或湿法选冶设施的可能性。
- 2020年12月，卡莫阿-卡库拉铜矿项目获得4.2亿元的项目级信贷融资，其中包括1.76亿欧元 (2.11亿元) 的设备融资、900万元首付款贷款以及从紫金矿业获得的2亿元信贷额度。信贷融资将会用于卡莫阿-卡库拉的第二序列扩建工程，以实现年处理矿量760万吨的选厂产能。
- 卡莫阿-卡库拉项目正在进行的其它工程与施工包括：Mwadingusha 水电站及相关配套的 220千伏基础设施的升级工程已经完工，将为矿山提供清洁、可再生的水电能源。 Mwadingusha水电站预计将于卡库拉选厂投产前，向国家电网提供约78兆瓦的电力。
- 艾芬豪于2019年获得其全资拥有、西部前沿项目(Western Foreland)的大型探矿权，并于2020年获得环保审批。艾芬豪计划于短期内在西部前沿探矿权内展开大规模勘查工作，覆盖面积约2,550平方公里。西部前沿探矿权毗邻卡莫阿-卡库拉采矿许可区，勘查前景非常乐观。西部前沿具有与卡莫阿-卡库拉相同的地质背景，艾芬豪的刚果 (金) 勘探团队正通过区域勘查和钻探，在西部前沿寻找卡莫阿-卡库拉类型的高品位铜矿化体。
- Ivanplats 与猎户座矿业金融集团 (Orion Mine Finance) (以下简称"猎户座") 已就3亿元的黄金、钯及铂金属流融资签订非约束性协议。猎户座是世界领先的金融集团，为基础金属和贵金属矿企提供生产相关的金属流融资。此外，Ivanplats已委托两家国际知名的商业银行 — 法国兴业银行和莱利银行担任受托牵头安排行，负责1.2亿元的项目级高级债务融资。
- 2020年11月30日，Ivanplats公布普拉特瑞夫项目的独立综合开发分案 (以下简称"普拉特瑞夫IDP20") 令人鼓舞的研究结果，随后开始筹措融资安排。普拉特瑞夫IDP20包括项目的可行性研究更新版 (以下简称"普拉特瑞夫2020 FS") 以及初步经济评估 (以下简称"普拉特瑞夫2020 PEA")。普拉特瑞夫2020 PEA分期开发方案预计的初期资本开支约3.9亿元，年处理矿量70万吨。
艾芬豪矿业持有 39.6% 权益
卡莫阿-卡库拉项目是艾芬豪矿业与紫金矿业的合资企业，被国际矿业咨询公司伍德曼肯兹 (Wood Mackenzie) 评为全球第 4 大铜矿。该项目位于科卢韦齐 (Kolwezi) 镇以西约 25 公里处，在卢本巴希 (Lubumbashi) 以西约 270 公里处。
2015年12月，艾芬豪以总价 4.12 亿元向紫金矿业出售卡莫阿控股有限公司 (以下简称 "卡莫阿控股") 49.5% 的权益。另外，艾芬豪以 832 万元向私营公司晶河全球出售卡莫阿控股 1% 的权益，晶河全球将以十年期无息本票支付。2015年12月与紫金的交易完成后，每位股东必须按其持有卡莫阿控股的股权比例支付卡莫阿-卡库拉项目的支出。
根据 2002 年刚果(金)矿业法，卡莫阿-卡库拉项目的5%不可稀释权益已于2012年9月11日无条件让予刚果(金)政府。根据2016年11月与刚果(金)政府签订的协议，卡莫阿-卡库拉项目的额外15% 权益已转予刚果(金)政府，艾芬豪与紫金矿业目前各自间接持有卡莫阿-卡库拉项目39.6% 的权益，晶河全球间接持有0.8% 权益，而刚果(金)政府则直接持有20% 权益。卡莫阿控股直接持有项目 80% 权益。
卡库拉矿山的投产前主要矿石堆场 (前景)、卡库拉北部斜坡道 (红圈)以及选厂和回填厂 (背景)。
截至 2020 年底，卡莫阿-卡库拉项目录得合共 2,618,438个零失时工伤工时。项目将继续致力为所有员工和承包商提供零伤害的工作环境。
2020年9月8日，艾芬豪矿业公布卡莫阿-卡库拉项目独立综合开发方案 (以下简称"IDP") 的结果。2020年卡莫阿-卡库拉综合开发方案涵盖下列3个开发方案﹕
- 卡库拉I期矿山开发的最终可行性研究 (以下简称"DFS")。2020年版卡库拉最终可行性研究对于卡库拉矿床初始年处理矿量600万吨的地下矿山和地表选矿设施 (760万吨/年产能) 进行评估。矿山规划了两个380万吨/年的选矿序列，其中第一序列已经到了建设末期。
- 包含卡索科矿山开发的预可行性研究 (以下简称"PFS")。2020年版的卡库拉-卡索科预可行性研究对卡库拉和卡索科矿床的采矿活动进行评估。卡索科以初步产能160万吨/年来补足卡库拉选厂的入选矿量。后期随着卡库拉的储量耗尽，卡索科最终将会扩大产能至600万吨/年。
- 四大生产矿山的后续扩产开发方案。2020年版的卡莫阿-卡库拉初步经济评估 (以下简称"PEA") 对最终产能可达到1,900万吨/年的分期综合开发进行了分析。这其中包括自卡库拉矿山投产开始，随后加上毗邻的卡索科、卡库拉西部和卡莫阿北部矿山的独立地下采矿作业，以及兴建一座直接粗铜冶炼厂。在其它区域的资源被采空以后，项目将会开发卡莫阿北部的五个独立采区，以保持1,900万吨/年的水平，矿山整体寿命可达40余年。
2020年卡莫阿-卡库拉IDP，由澳大利亚阿德莱德的OreWin Pty Ltd.、中国江西的中国瑞林工程技术有限公司、南非约翰内斯堡的DRA Global、南非约翰内斯堡的Epoch Resources、南非米德兰的Golder Associates Africa、波兰弗罗茨瓦夫的KGHM Cuprum R&D Centre Ltd.、芬兰赫尔辛基的Outotec Oyj、南非开普敦的Paterson and Cooke、美国凤凰城的Stantec Consulting International LLC 、南非约翰内斯堡的SRK Consulting Inc.以及美国里诺的Wood plc，按100%项目权益进行独立研究。
- 卡库拉2020 DFS对于卡库拉矿床I期年采矿量600万吨的地下矿山和地表760万吨/年的选矿设施进行评估。矿山规划了两个380万吨/年的选矿序列，其中第一序列已经到了建设末期。根据DFS的估算，这个开发规划投产后前10年的平均年产量达28.4万吨铜，矿场现金成本每磅铜0.52美元，总现金成本每磅铜1.16美元，并于第4年达到年产366,000吨铜。
- 剩余初期资本开支为6.5亿美元，将会产生55亿美元的税后净现值 (折现率8%)。
建设部秘书 Nadege Santos是数以千计充满干劲的刚果人才之一，他们正在携手将卡莫阿-卡库拉打造成为全球下一个重大的铜矿。卡莫阿铜业正全力推动采矿行业的积极变化，为女性提供支持。
- 卡库拉-卡索科 2020 PFS对于卡库拉和卡索科的采矿活动进行评估。卡索科以初始产能160万吨/年来补足卡库拉选厂760万吨/年的入选矿量。后期随着卡库拉的储量逐步耗尽，卡索科最终将会扩大产能至600万吨/年。 PFS预计这个方案于投产后前10年的平均年产量达33.1万吨铜，矿场现金成本每磅铜0.55美元，总现金成本每磅铜1.23美元，并于第4年达到年产量427,000吨铜。
- 方案的剩余初期资本开支为6.9亿美元，将会产生66亿元的税后净现值 (折现率8%)。项目的内部收益率为69.0%，投资回本期为2.5年，证明了卡库拉和卡索科有着可观的经济性。
- 卡莫阿-卡库拉2020 PEA载述了卡莫阿-卡库拉高品位铜矿床的分期连续运营开发方案。
- PEA预计，综合年处理矿量1,900万吨的分期开发方案的剩余初期资本开支为7亿元。卡索科、卡库拉西部和卡莫阿北部矿山的日后扩建投资源自卡库拉矿山的现金流，并将拥有111亿美元的税后净现值(折现率8%)以及56.2 %的内部收益率，投资回本期为3.6年。
卡莫阿-卡库拉合资企业在 2019 年的资本开支为 3.091 亿美元， 其中 1.252 亿美元用于卡库拉斜坡道和矿山开发。2020年产生了6.43亿美元的资本开支，包括用于建设投产前矿石堆场。2020年艾芬豪承担的资本开支份额为3.18亿美元，其中包括初期资本开支约40%的出资份额，以及按比例承担刚果(金)政府持有的20%股本对应的出资份额，后者将由项目未来的现金流予以偿付。艾芬豪已按约50%的出资份额，为卡莫阿-卡库拉项目制定2021年预算为1.54亿美元。截至2020年12月31日，合资企业在首产前还有约3.36亿美元的资本开支。
2020 年12 月1 日，艾芬豪宣布卡莫阿控股合资企业获得高达1.76亿欧元 (约2.11亿美元) 的设备融资以及900万美元首付款贷款，资金将会用于向领先的瑞典制造商 Sandvik AB 和 Epiroc AB 以及芬兰制造商 Normet Oy 订购地下采矿移动设备和服务。
贷款有效期3年，自提款日起5年内完成偿付，并与卡莫阿-卡库拉项目的地下采矿设备相关联。瑞典出口信用局 (以下简称"EKN") 为贷款人提供了政治和商业保险，并且每期贷款的首次使用将收取一次性保费。
EC&I (电器、控制和仪表) 安装是建设工程的最后一项作业，选厂完工后将会投入生产。电缆安装和电缆终端设置的进度顺利，至今已完成安装150,000米以上的铜电缆 (总共207,000米 / 207公里)。目前正进行仪表的安装且进展理想，选厂将于2021年3月底开始获得中压电力供应。
卡库拉380万吨/年初始选厂的浮选车间 (绿色) 和球磨机 (黄色) 的施工已完成85%以上，并正进行试车。图左位置为第二座380万吨/年选厂的地基。
大型地表卸料系统、皮带输送系统及原矿输送系统的施工都进展顺利，计划于2021年初进行第一阶段试车，并配合主要斜坡道的输送系统。大型卸料系统将从卡库拉地表矿堆 (于第二期作业开始后也从卡索科矿山) 运送矿石供给选厂。
2021年3月初，卡莫阿铜业建设管理团队的成员(左起) David Mitchell、Kasper Badenhorst和Morne Kruger 监督首批高品位铜矿石从卡库拉地下矿场直接运送到第一座选厂毗邻的矿山堆场。
艾芬豪矿业资源部副总裁乔治·吉尔克里斯特 (George Gilchrist) (右) 和卡莫阿铜业地质部高级主管Franck Twite (左) 正检查一块从卡库拉矿山采出的辉铜矿矿石。2021年2月，在卡库拉的高品位矿床中心已开采及运送107,000吨矿石到矿堆，铜品位达9.01%。
矿山经由国家电网连接的18兆瓦移动变电站，向卡莫阿120千伏架空输电线提供水电供应。 2020年12月，卡莫阿-卡库拉连接的一条35公里长的220千伏线路，与位于科卢韦齐的西部调度 (Western Dispatch) 变电站接通，国家电网将通过这条电力线为项目输送可靠和清洁的水电能源。这是项目取得长期电网供电的一个重要里程碑。
工程由瑞士雷恩斯的Stucky工程公司在艾芬豪矿业及紫金矿业的指导下，与刚果(金)国有电力公司 La Société Nationale d'Electricité (以下简称 "SNEL") 合作施工。
"可持续民生计划"于2010年创立，旨在通过建立农业培训园以及在社区层面为农民提供支持，提升卡莫阿-卡库拉项目占地范围内社区的食品安全和农作物生产。如今，约有 350 位社区农民正受益于"可持续民生计划"，为家人生产优质食品并出售多余的食品以获得额外收入。计划从最初的玉米和蔬菜生产已发展到目前包括水产养殖和家禽，并于2020年建造了额外9个鱼塘。卡莫阿还将进一步发展民生计划，目前已兴建一所农业学校并配备设施，为当地农民提供培训以及进行研究。
第二阶段搬迁计划的安置房建设于年内继续施工，其中27个家庭已搬入安置房。年内还实施了第三阶段的搬迁计划，其中19个家庭已完成搬迁。卡库拉北部的调查工作以及所有农作物补偿已经完成，并已向108位居民按其农作物和种植结构的经济影响作出补偿。全部搬迁计划实施完成后，将满足整个卡库拉矿区 (包括尾矿坝) 的建设需要。
卡莫阿铜业的Alain Mukoj (中) 与Prince Kiluba (左) 和Erick Kabwita (右) 在当地社区种植园察看菠萝作物。
普拉特瑞夫项目由 Ivanplats (Pty) Ltd.（简称 "Ivanplats"）持有，艾芬豪矿业持有Ivanplats公司64%的股权。普拉特瑞夫项目26% 的股权由《全面提高黑人经济实力法案》(B-BBEE) 的南非受益人持有。这些受益人包括 20 个当地社区，约150,000 位居民、项目雇员和当地企业主。Ivanplats 在最近 B-BBEE 评分核实评估中达到 4 级贡献者标准。由伊藤忠商事株式会社、日本石油天然气和金属国家公司和日本天然气公司组成的日本财团通过 2 轮投资 (共 2.9 亿美元) 持有 Ivanplats 10% 的股权。
普拉特瑞夫矿化连续，走向延伸30多公里，铂族金属矿化主要赋存在该矿化带的北部。艾芬豪的普拉特瑞夫项目位于普拉特瑞夫南部，由Turfspruit及Macalacaskop两个相连的矿权组成。最北部的 Turfspruit 矿权，邻近且位于英美铂金 (Anglo Platinum) Mogalakwena 矿山的走向延伸上。
自2007 年，艾芬豪重点实施勘探和开发活动，以圈定普拉特瑞夫矿体的深部延伸，目前已命名为 Flatreef 矿床，适合高度机械化的地下开采。整个Flatreef 矿区位于 Turfspruit 和 Macalacaskop 矿权范围内，属于公司采矿许可范围的一部分。
截至 2020 年底，根据南非《矿山健康与安全法》(Mine Health and Safety Act) 及《职业健康与安全法》(Occupational Health and Safety Act)，普拉特瑞夫项目取得合共 59,213小时的零失时工伤记录。
2020 年 11 月 30 日，艾芬豪矿业公布普拉特瑞夫项目独立综合开发方案2020 (以下简称 "普拉特瑞夫IDP20") 的测算结果。普拉特瑞夫IDP20涵盖了下列两个开发方案﹕
- 普拉特瑞夫可行性研究2020 (以下简称 "普拉特瑞夫2020 FS") 对于2017年7月公布的可行性研究进行了更新。普拉特瑞夫2020 FS对于年处理矿石440万吨的地下矿山开发进行评估，矿山规划了两个220万吨/年的选矿序列。普拉特瑞夫2020 FS涵盖了2017年可行性研究以来的开发进展、成本更新、金属价格和外汇假设调整，以及处理能力从400万吨/年提升至440万吨/年，充分利用两个选矿序列的产能。
- 普拉特瑞夫初步经济评估(以下简称"普拉特瑞夫2020 PEA") 对于推进普拉特瑞夫投产的替代性、分期开发方案进行评估，初始70万吨/年的地下采矿作业使用现有的1号竖井以及一座产能高达77万吨/年的新选厂。分期开发方案以高品位采区为目标，并大幅降低资本开支。实现首期投产后，2号竖井的凿井工程将会展开，同时建造两个220万吨/年的选矿序列，使初始选厂扩大至77万吨/年的总产能，将稳态产能提升至520万吨/年。 2号竖井的建设视资金状况可能会被提前，以加快推进这个扩建方案。
- 普拉特瑞夫 2020 FS对于440万吨/年的地下矿山开发进行评估，矿山规划了两个220万吨/年的选矿序列。普拉特瑞夫 2020 FS涵盖2017年可行性研究报告完成以来的开发进展、成本更新、金属价格和外汇假设调整。
- 可行性研究预计，铂金、钯、铑和黄金 (3PE + Au) 的平均年产量达508,000盎司，加上2,200万磅镍金属和1,300万磅铜金属，现金成本为3PE + Au为442美元/盎司 (扣除副产品，并已计入维持性资本开支)。
- 项目的时间表取决于2号竖井的凿井工程。 2号竖井的直径为10米，提升产能达每年600万吨矿石，设有两套40吨的双层人员/物料提升罐笼，可以运输完全组装的装载-运输-卸载车辆及其他设备以配合矿山工程。 2号竖井计划将于2025年实现投产。
- 以2020年11月27日的现货价格计算，税后净现值 (折现率8%) 将会增加至37亿美元，内部收益率上升至28.4%。
- 普拉特瑞夫2020 PEA对于普拉特瑞夫的分期开发方案进行评估，以初步70万吨/年的开采能力及高达77万吨/年的矿石处理能力，以1号竖井附近的高品位采区为目标，并大幅降低初期资本开支至3.9亿美元。
- 利用1号竖井82.5万吨/年的矿石提升产能 (其中包括12.5万吨/年的开拓围岩提升)，并需要减少初期工程，重点开发距离最近和品位最高的进路充填采区。
- 分期开发方案的成本估算主要以普拉特瑞夫2020 FS为基础，并包括前期的进路填充采矿作业以及一座77万吨/年的选厂和相关的矿场基础设施。
- 在这个方案下，初步经济评估预计在I期 (第1至6年) 期间平均年产量达109,000盎司的铂金、钯、铑和黄金 (3PE+Au) 以及500万磅镍和300万磅铜金属；随后于II期 (第7至30年) 期间平均年产量达613,000盎司的3PE+Au以及2,700万磅镍和1,600万磅铜金属。
- 初步经济评估估算，矿山全寿命的现金成本为3PE+Au 460美元/盎司 (扣除副产品，并已计入维持性资本开支)。
- 税后净现值为16亿美元 (折现率8%)，内部收益率为20.0%。以2020年11月27日的现货价格计算，净现值将会提升至33亿美元及内部收益率增加至29.1%。
- 项目1号竖井底部附近的950 米水平工作站最近已经完工。该工作站位于初期高品位采区的几百米范围之内。在2020年初步经济评估的替代性开发方案下，将于分期开发方案初期在该矿区进行重点开发。
除非另有指明，否则所有数字均以 100% 项目为基础进行报告。普拉特瑞夫IDP20由澳大利亚阿德莱德的OreWin Pty Ltd.、加拿大温哥华的Wood plc (前为Amec Foster Wheeler)、南非约翰内斯堡的SRK Consulting Inc.、美国凤凰城的Stantec Consulting International LLC 、南非约翰内斯堡的DRA Global以及南非米德兰的Golder Associates Africa，按100%项目权益进行独立编撰。
初级地质师Jan Mapeka正在检查高品位矿石。 采选77万吨/年的可行性研究，采用了大量的矿石样品作选冶试验。
2021年2月，Ivanplats 与猎户座矿业金融集团 (Orion Mine Finance) (以下简称"猎户座") 就3亿美元的黄金、钯及铂金属流融资签订非约束性协议。猎户座是世界领先的金融集团，为基础金属和贵金属矿企提供生产相关的金属流融资。金属流融资，仍需完成法律尽职调查和交易架构，以及最终文件的谈判和执行。金属流融资计划按需要分四期提款，同时进行工程研究以升级普拉特瑞夫 2020 PEA至可行性研究，并将普拉特瑞夫的1号竖井转换为生产井。
此外，Ivanplats已委托两家国际知名的商业银行 — 法国兴业银行和莱利银行担任受托牵头安排行，负责1.2亿美元的项目级高级债务融资。项目级的高级债务融资，仅在金属流融资全额提取后才能使用。债务融资的最终条款和条件，将取决于普拉特瑞夫分期开发方案的可行性研究完成、尽职调查和交易架构达成，以及最终文件的谈判和执行。债务融资的最终条款和条件，将在上述各项敲定后进行最终定夺。
1号竖井底部的996米中段工作站已于2020年7月顺利完工。 1号竖井距离Flatreef高品位矿体约350米，计划用大规模机械化开采。三个分别位于750 米、850 米和950米中段的工作站都已经完工，采掘班组可以通过初步地下通道前往高品位矿区。
在1号竖井成功进行凿井工程的卷扬机将被改造装配，在矿山服务年限内进行矿石提升，以及用于运送工作人员和物料。竖井将配备两个12.5吨的箕斗 (提升产能达每年82.5万吨) 以及可转换的罐笼，以配合在首采阶段运送工作人员和物料出入竖井。
2号竖井的早期地表工程已于2017年展开，包括地表以下约 29 米深的地表箱形切割槽以及建造103 米高的混凝土井架的地基。该井架将设有竖井的永久提升设施并将用于支撑井环。普拉特瑞夫2021年的预算为5,900万美元，其中包括1,000万美元用于建设2号竖井的井架。
冶金小组负责人Vongani Nkuna 与开发团队成员共同努力，领导艾芬豪第二大顶级矿山普拉特瑞夫的开发进程。
目前，普拉特瑞夫采矿计划中的采矿区位于地表以下约 700 米至 1,200 米的深度。一旦扩大矿山产量，2号竖井 (1,104米深、十米直径的生产井) 将会用作通往矿区的主要通道。1号竖井 (996米深、直径7.25米) 将会用作次要进场通道。 1号井的凿井工程最近已完成，达到其最终深度。矿山生产期间，1号和2号竖井同时作为通风入口。规划的另外3个通风井 (1号、2号及3号通风井) 将用于实现稳态产量。
普拉特瑞夫项目的第二个社会和劳动计划 (SLP) 的咨询工作已进入最后阶段。在第二个SLP中，Ivanplats计划以第一个SLP为基础，继续专注于培训和开发计划，其中包括﹕增加15名新导师、向78名员工提供内部技术培训、延续向即将退休的员工提供新/其他技术的培训计划、为项目社区成员提供社区成人教育训练，以及向最少100名社区成员提供核心技术培训以及常用技能等。
位于刚果(金)的基普什铜-锌-锗-银-铅矿，邻近基普什镇，距离卢本巴希西南约30公里。基普什地处中非铜矿带，位于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目东南约 250 公里，距离赞比亚边境不足一公里。 2011年11月，艾芬豪收购了基普什项目 68% 的权益；其余 32% 权益由刚果(金)国有矿业公司杰卡明所拥有。
预可行性研究的重点 (基于长期锌价 1.10 美元/磅) 包括﹕
- 税后净现值为 6.83 亿美元，实际折现率为 8%。
- 税后实际内部收益率为 35.3%。
- 税后项目投资回收期为 2.2 年。
- 包括预备费在内的投产前资本开支为 3.37 亿美元。
- 在矿山全寿命期间，平均年产锌精矿 38.1万吨，锌精矿品位 59%。投产后，预计基普什将会成为全世界规模最大的锌矿之一。
除非另有指明，否则所有数字均以 100% 权益为基础进行报告。在矿山全寿命期间，估计平均现金成本为 0.48美元/磅。投产后，预计基普什将会成为世界现金成本最低 (成本曲线位于四分位图底部) 的锌生产商之一。
5号竖井的直径为8米、深 1,240 米，现已进行升级和重新调试。主要的工作人员和材料进出场的卷扬机已被升级改造，以满足全球行业标准和安全标准。 5号竖井的岩石提升卷扬机目前已全面运行，并已安装新的箕斗、新的头尾钢索以及相关配件。竖井已安装两个新制造的岩石运输工具(箕斗)和支撑框架(控制电缆)，以方便从1,200 米中段的主矿石仓和废石仓提升岩石。
大锌（Big Zinc）矿带进场斜坡道与5号竖井出岩设施之间的 1,150 米中段主要运输道已经重做混凝土地平，矿山现在可以使用现代化无轨移动设备进行采矿。新的卡车卸料仓(用于将矿石送入正下方的破碎机) 已在这个中段安装。 2号竖井的旧卷扬机已移除。现代化的新卷扬机已建设新地基，且组装和安装都已经完成，并在通过安全检验和测试程序后全面运行。
仪表助理Kyungu Kabulo (左) 和仪表工程师Junior Kisula Ngoy (右) 在基普什地表以下1,200米水平的泵站安装Grifo水泵的探测器和平衡盘。
2020年共采集了958个土壤样品、411个水系样品、133个岩石打块样品和981个填图。2020年已完成21个钻孔，共计 8,212米。余下的土壤、刻线、水系和金刚石钻探样品已于年底送往珀斯的Bureau Veritas实验室分析。
2021 年 2 月 10 日，艾芬豪矿业公布2020年初完成的钻孔分析结果，确认卡莫阿北区的高品位铜矿化向Kiala 矿区内至少延伸了 800 米。
- DKIA_DD007 自345.44米，见矿7.21米 (真实宽度)，铜品位7.98% (以 1%及2% 铜边界品位计算)。
- DKIA_DD011 自348.00米，见矿3.82米 (真实宽度)，铜品位5.35% (以 1%及2% 铜边界品位计算)。
- DKIA_DD014 自366.70米，见矿5.30米 (真实宽度)，铜品位12.42% (以 1%及2% 铜边界品位计算)。
- DKIA_DD016 自351.40米，见矿3.59米 (真实宽度)，铜品位9.71% (以 1%及2% 铜边界品位计算)。
2020年 12 月 31 日 止的年度评述(对比 2019 年 12 月 31 日)
公司在截至 2020 年 12 月 31 日的年度录得 4,550 万美元的综合亏损，截至 2019年 12 月 31 日的年度综合收益为2,020 万美元。
截至 2020 年 12 月 31 日的年度勘探及项目支出达到 4,470万美元，比 2019 年同期 (1,160 万美元) 增加了3,310 万美元。2019年的勘探及项目开支全数用于艾芬豪全资拥有的西部前沿勘探许可区的勘探活动；2020年还包括用于基普什项目的3,620万美元开支，由于项目在2020年减少作业而节约了资本开支。
截至2020 年 12 月 31 日的年度财务收入达 8,080 万美元，2019 年同期达7,240 万美元。财务收入已计入2020年向卡莫阿控股合资企业提供贷款以运营所得的利息收入7,040万美元以及2019年所得的利息收入5,350万美元，随着累计贷款余额增加。由于美联储减息，导致现金和现金等价物所得利息下跌。
截至 2020年 12 月 31 日的财务状况对比截至 2019年 12 月 31 日 的财务状况
截至2020 年 12 月 31 日 止的年度和 2019 年同期的普拉特瑞夫项目增购不动产、厂房和设备 (已计入资本化开发成本) 的主要条目详见下表：
卡莫阿控股合资企业的不动产、厂房和设备从 2019年12月31日净增长至 2020年12月31日，达到5.893亿美元，可进一步分解如下：
截至2020年12月31日，公司的总负债为8,060万美元，相比截至 2019年12月31日的8,190 万美元减少了130万美元，主要由于租赁负债减少390万美元所致。
截至2020年12月31日止三个月 (对比 2019年12月31日) 的回顾
2020年第四季度的薪金和福利为350万美元，相比2019年同期 (740万美元) 减少390万美元，主要是由于在全公司范围内实施的现金节流措施，包括暂停向高管发放短期奖金、减少公司在全球各地的办事处以及削减高管人数。
2020年第四季度的财务收入达2,100万美元，与 2019年同期 (2,080万美元) 相比高出20万美元。财务收入中包括向卡莫阿控股合资企业提供的贷款利息，2020年第四季度的利息收入1,980万美元，2019年同期所得的利息收入为1,510万美元，随着累计贷款余额增加。由于美联储减息，导致现金和现金等价物所得利息下跌。
截至2020年12月31日，公司拥有2.628亿美元的现金和现金等价物。截至该日，公司的综合运营资金约为3.08亿美元，而截至 2019年12月31日则为 6.885亿美元。
目前，普拉特瑞夫项目的开支由艾芬豪独自供资 (通过向 Ivanplats 提供计息贷款)，因为日本财团已决定不为当前的开支供资。
在 2021 年，公司对于普拉特瑞夫项目的主要目标是要完成分期开发方案的详细工程设计和更新可行性研究、继续转换1号竖井为生产井以及建设2号竖井的井口井架。基普什项目将继续实施现金节流措施，直至可行性研究完成以及开发和融资方案达成协议。卡莫阿-卡库拉项目继续推进矿山的开发工作，预计于2021年7月实现首批铜生产，同时加快选厂的II期扩建。公司预算在2021年花费5,900万美元进一步开发普拉特瑞夫项目，2,700万美元用于基普什项目，以及2,800万美元用于公司经常性开支。刚果(金)西部前沿勘探项目将继续进行勘查活动，2021年的初步预算为1,600万美元，视勘查结果可另行追加。公司已按比例为卡莫阿-卡库拉项目制定2021年的预算为1.54亿美元，假设额外设备的采购将由设备融资提供资金，而卡莫阿-卡库拉II期的开支将由紫金的有限追索权信贷额度出资。
合资格人及NI 43-101 技术报告
本新闻稿中关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目资本开支和开发方案修订版的科学或技术性披露已经由史蒂夫·阿莫斯 (Steve Amos) 审查和批准，他凭借其教育、经验和专业协会会籍被认为是NI 43-101 标准下的合资格人。由于阿莫斯先生是卡莫阿项目的负责人，因此他并不符合NI 43-101 对独立人士的界定。阿莫斯先生已核实本新闻稿所披露的技术数据。
本新闻稿中关于卡库拉和卡索科矿堆的其它科学或技术性披露已经由乔治·吉尔克里斯特 (George Gilchrist) 审查和批准，他凭借其教育、经验和专业协会会籍被认为是NI 43-101 条款下的合资格人。由于吉尔克里斯特先生是艾芬豪矿业资源部副总裁，因此他并不符合NI 43-101 对独立人士的界定。吉尔克里斯特先生已核实本新闻稿所披露的其它技术数据。
本新闻稿中的其它科学或技术性披露已经由斯蒂芬·托尔 (Stephen Torr) 审查和批准，他凭借其教育、经验和专业协会会籍被认为是NI 43-101 条款下的合资格人。由于托尔先生是项目地质和评估副总裁，因此他并不符合NI 43-101 对独立人士的界定。托尔先生已核实本新闻稿所披露的其它技术数据。
艾芬豪已经为普拉特瑞夫项目、基普什项目和卡莫阿-卡库拉项目分别编制了一份符合NI 43-101 标准的最新独立技术报告，这些报告可在SEDAR 网站上的艾芬豪页面获得，网址为www.sedar.com：
- 2020年10月13日发布的2020年卡莫阿-卡库拉综合开发方案，由OreWin Pty Ltd.、中国瑞林工程技术有限公司、DRA Global、Epoch Resources、Golder Associates Africa、KGHM Cuprum R&D Centre Ltd.、Outotec Oyj、Paterson and Cooke、Stantec Consulting International LLC、SRK Consulting Inc.以及Wood plc编制，涵盖公司的卡莫阿-卡库拉项目；
- 2020年12月6日发布的2020 年普拉特瑞夫综合开发方案，由OreWin Pty Ltd.、Wood plc (前为Amec Foster Wheeler)、SRK Consulting Inc.、Consulting International LLC 、DRA Global以及Golder Associates Africa编制，涵盖公司的普拉特瑞夫项目；以及
- 2019年3月28日发布的2019 年基普什矿产资源更新，由OreWin Pty Ltd.、MSA Group (Pty) Ltd.、SRK Consulting (South Africa) (Pty) Ltd. 和MDM (Technical) Africa Pty Ltd . (Wood PLC 的一个部门) 编制，涵盖了公司的基普什项目。
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本新闻稿载有的某些陈述可能构成适用证券法所订议的"前瞻性陈述"或"前瞻性信息"。这些陈述及信息涉及已知和未知的风险、不明朗因素和其他因素，可能导致本公司的实际业绩、表现或成就、项目或行业的业绩，与前瞻性陈述或信息所表达或暗示的任何未来业绩、表现或成就产生重大差异。这些陈述可通过文中使用"可能"、"将会"、"会"、"将要"、"打算"、"预期"、"相信"、"计划"、"预计"、"估计"、 "安排" 、"预测"、"预言"及其他类似用语，或者声明"可能"、"会"、"将会"、"可能会"或"将要"采取、发生或实现某些行动、事件或结果进行识别。这些陈述仅反映本公司于本新闻稿发布当日对于未来事件、表现和业绩的当前预期。这些陈述仅反映本公司于截至 2020 年 12 月 31 日止的年度《管理层讨论与分析》发布当日对于未来事件、表现和业绩的当前预期。
该等陈述包括但不限于下列事项的时间点和结果﹕(i) 关于截至2020年12月31日，卡莫阿-卡库拉合资企业在首产前还有约3.36亿美元资本开支的陈述；(ii) 关于艾芬豪预计将继续持有充足的现金资源或融资方案，以涵盖其应承担卡莫阿-卡库拉项目的初期资本开支剩余份额的陈述； (iii) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目选厂的进度和时间点，包括选厂将按计划于2021年第二季度竣工，并计划于2021年7月实现首批铜精矿生产的陈述；(iv) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉回填厂的建设工程与选厂大致同时完工，预计将于2021年7月实现投产的陈述；(v) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目其他工程的进度，包括尾矿库的施工进度理想，预计将于规划时间之前完工的陈述；(vi) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目将继续安排更多人手，以加快地下开发进度的陈述；(vii) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目正按计划推进，将于2021年7月实现投产前，在地表堆场储备超过300万吨高品位和中品位矿石，含有超过12.5万吨铜金属量的陈述；(viii) 关于卡库拉将会生产极高品位的清洁铜精矿(含铜量达55%以上)，将会是世界各地铜冶炼厂渴求的高质量产品的陈述；(ix) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目将会成为全球单位铜温室气体排放最低矿山之一的陈述；(x) 关于翻新后的Mwadingusha水电站，6台涡轮机合共提供的电力，预计于2021年第二季度与并入国家电网的陈述；(xi) 关于普拉特瑞夫项目的金属流融资，包括计划分四期提款的陈述；(xii) 关于普拉特瑞夫项目1号竖井转换为生产井预计于2022年2月完工的陈述；(xiii) 关于普拉特瑞夫计划采用高生产率的机械方法，包括深孔采矿法及分层充填采矿法，两种方法都会采用水泥回填以挖掘最多矿石的陈述；(xiv) 关于艾芬豪矿业及其合资伙伴杰卡明(Gécamines)正在审阅基普什的可行性研究草案以及开发和融资方案，预计双方将于2021年中完成可行性研究以及开发和融资方案达成协议后完成讨论的陈述；(xv) 关于Makoko西部勘查区未来的钻孔工作，将选择有利于形成更高铜品位的特定构造位置为优先靶区的陈述；(xvi) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目继续推进矿山的开发工作，预计于2021年7月实现首批铜生产，同时加快选厂II期扩建的陈述；(xvii) 关于公司预算在2021年花费5,900万美元进一步开发普拉特瑞夫项目、2,700万美元用于基普什项目、1,600万美元用于刚果(金)区域性勘探，以及2,800万美元用于公司经常性开支，并已按比例为卡莫阿-卡库拉项目制定2021年的预算为1.54亿美元的陈述。
此外，卡库拉铜矿可行性研究、更新和扩展的卡莫阿-卡库拉项目初步经济评估、普拉特瑞夫项目的可行性研究，以及基普什项目的预可行性研究的所有结果均构成了前瞻性陈述或信息，并包括内部收益率的未来估算、净现值，未来产量、现金成本估算、建议开采计划和方法、估计矿山全寿命、现金流量预测、金属回收率、资本和运营成本估算，以及项目分期开发的规模和时间点。另外，对于与卡莫阿-卡库拉项目、普拉特瑞夫项目和基普什项目开发有关的特定前瞻性信息，公司是基于某些不确定因素而作出假设和分析。不确定因素包括：(i) 基础设施的充足性；(ii) 地质特征；(iii) 矿化的冶金特征；(iv) 发展充足选矿产能的能力；(v) 铜、镍、锌、铂金，钯、铑和黄金的价格；(vi) 完成开发所需的设备和设施的可用性；(vii) 消耗品和采矿及选矿设备的费用；(viii) 不可预见的技术和工程问题；(ix) 事故或破坏或恐怖主义行为；(x) 货币波动； (xi) 法例修订；(xii) 合资企业伙伴对协议条款的遵守情况；(xiii) 熟练劳工的人手和生产率；(xiv) 各政府机构对矿业的监管；(xv) 筹集足够资金以发展该等项目的能力；(xiv) 项目范围或设计更变；以及 (xv) 政治因素。
本新闻稿亦载有矿产资源和矿产储量估算的参考信息。矿产资源的估算具有内在的不确定性，并涉及对许多相关因素的主观判断。矿产储量的估算提供了更多的确定性，但仍然涉及类似的主观判断。矿产资源并非矿产储量，并不显示其具有经济潜力。任何该等估算的准确性是可用数据的数量和质量的函数，并根据工程和地质诠释的假设和判断 (包括估计公司项目的未来产量、预计开采所得的矿石量和品位，以及估计将会实现的回收率) 而作出，可能被证明是不可靠的，在一定程度上取决于钻孔结果和统计推论的分析，而最终可能证明是不准确的。矿产资源或矿产储量估算可能需要根据以下因素重新估算：(i) 铜、镍、锌、铂族元素 (PGE)、黄金或其他矿物价格的波动；(ii) 钻孔工程的结果；(iii) 冶金测试和其他研究；(iv) 建议开采作业，包括贫化；(v) 在矿山计划的任何估算及/或变更日期之后作出的矿山计划评估；(vi) 未能取得所需准许、批准和许可证的可能性；以及 (vii) 法律或法规的修订。