KOLWEZI, DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO – Ivanhoe Mines (TSX: IVN; OTCQX: IVPAF) Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun are pleased to announce that underground ore production at the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) has for the first time exceeded the steady-state requirements of the Phase 1, 3.8-million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator plant. In February, the project mined and stockpiled 339,000 tonnes of ore grading 5.50% copper from the Kakula and Kansoko mines. The tonnage was 13% higher than January, while the copper grade continued to trend higher.
The new production record in February was achieved even with undertaking the scheduled conveyor belt changeover to the permanent configuration at the Kakula Mine, which limited underground ore haulage for one week.
The 339,000 tonnes mined in February include 47,300 tonnes grading 4.62% copper from the Kansoko Mine, establishing a new monthly production record at Kansoko. The total tonnage mined also includes 107,000 tonnes grading 9.01% copper from the high-grade centre of the Kakula Mine.
The project’s pre-production surface stockpiles now contain approximately 2.16 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated blended average of 4.44% copper. Contained copper in the stockpiles increased by approximately 19,000 tonnes in February – a 19.2% increase over January’s production – to a cumulative total of more than 95,000 tonnes (the current copper price is approximately US$9,100 a tonne).
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.
George Gilchrist, Ivanhoe Mines’ Vice President, Resources (left), and Franck Twite, Kamoa Copper’s Senior Supervisor Geology (right), mapping an ultra-high-grade ore zone at Kakula. The dark gray layers of chalcocite ore contain approximately 10% copper based on results from nearby channel sample profiles.
Potential for sustained higher copper prices draws attention to the project’s exceptional economics using long-term copper prices of US$4.00/lb and US$4.50/lb
In September 2020, Ivanhoe published outstanding economic results of the independent Integrated Development Plan 2020 (IDP20) for the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project. The IDP20 comprised three development scenarios: Kakula definitive feasibility study (DFS) at a mining rate of 6 Mtpa; Kakula-Kansoko pre-feasibility study (PFS) at a mining rate of 7.6 Mtpa, and Kamoa-Kakula preliminary economic assessment (PEA) at a mining rate of 19 Mtpa. The base case, long-term copper price used in the IDP20 was US$3.10 per pound (lb), on a real basis.
Since the IDP20 was published, spot copper prices have surged to new nine-year highs of more than US$4.30/lb. While this surge has not yet changed long-term copper price assumptions, this warrants a closer look at the long-term copper price sensitivities published at the time of the various development scenarios using long-term copper prices of US$4.00/lb (US$8,818/ tonne) and US$4.50/lb (US$9,921/tonne), given the potential now for sustained higher copper prices.
The Kakula 2020 FS highlights that a mining rate of 6 Mtpa yields an after-tax NPV8% of US$5.5 billion and IRR of 77% at a long-term copper price of US$3.10/lb, rising to US$8.4 billion and IRR of 100% at a copper price of US$4.00/lb, and US$9.5 billion and 106.9% at a copper price of US$4.50/lb.
The Kakula-Kansoko 2020 PFS highlights that a mining rate of 7.6 Mtpa yields an after-tax NPV8% of US$6.6 billion and IRR of 69% at a long-term copper price of US$3.10/lb, rising to US$10.5 billion and IRR of 93% at a copper price of US$4.00/lb, and US$12.0 billion and 99.8% at a copper price of US$4.50/lb.
The Kamoa-Kakula 2020 PEA highlights that a mining rate of 19 Mtpa yields an after-tax NPV8% of US$11.1 billion and IRR of 56.2% at a long-term copper price of US$3.10/lb, rising to US$18.1 billion and IRR of 79.9% at a copper price of US$4.00/lb, and US$20.9 billion and IRR of 89% at a copper price of US$4.50/lb.
“We’ve been publicly stating for the record confidence about higher copper prices in real terms for a long time. The stars now are aligning for the start of production at Kamoa-Kakula,” said Mr. Friedland. “We believe we’re only on the cusp of what will be a structural, powerful and long-term commodity rally given supply limitations and fundamental demand from global green initiatives.”
“The economics for pushing ahead with the Phase 3 and 4 expansions to bring the project’s mining rate to 19 Mtpa are compelling,” Mr. Friedland added. “At this expanded rate, Kamoa-Kakula will rank as the world’s second largest copper producer, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 tonnes. Our team has only scratched the surface on our massive, 100%-owned exploration licences in the adjoining Western Foreland region that shares virtually identical geology to Kamoa-Kakula and is the focus of an expansive exploration campaign from this year onwards.”
Underground mine development remains well ahead of schedule, providing the confidence to push forward with Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 2 construction
February’s advancement of 2,798 metres brings total underground development to approximately 35.5 kilometres – around 12.4 kilometres ahead of schedule. The monthly underground development in February was comprised of 2,389 metres at the Kakula Mine and 409 metres at the Kansoko Mine.
Drift-and-fill stoping operations are progressing well at the Kakula Mine, with approximately 70% of January’s ore production coming from stoping operations and the remainder coming from mine development activities. Drift-and-fill stoping is a highly-productive mining method of extracting underground ore, where a single tunnel, known as a stope, is extracted leaving an open void that is subsequently backfilled to allow for the extraction of the neighbouring stope in sequence.
Mark Farren, Kamoa Copper’s CEO, commented: “An outstanding performance in February under some challenging circumstances, given that we completed a major conveyor belt changeover at Kakula. The changeover slowed underground development and load-and-haul operations, as the underground tips could not be used for a week and ore had to be trucked to surface. Despite the temporary conveyor-related slowdown, we saw a strong mining performance with record tonnes and copper grade delivered to surface stockpiles.”
“We continue to successfully mine the high-grade stoping areas in the center of the Kakula Mine at selective cuts of approximately 10-metres high by 7.5-metres wide in a single pass. This bulk mining method is enormously beneficial as it generates large-volume, high-grade ore blocks that can be mined selectively,” Mr. Farren added.
Jumbo drill in operation in a 10-metre-high by 7.5-metre-wide high-grade stoping area in the central part of the Kakula Mine.
Mine geologist Micheline Kyenge showing the ultra-high-grade chalcocite ore in the Kakula central area that is averaging more than 8% copper.
Auto electrician Raul Mwenze – one of thousands of bright, young Congolese who are helping transform Kamoa-Kakula into the world’s next great copper mine.
Kansoko’s ore mined in February was approximately 47,300 tonnes at an average grade of 4.62% copper. The tonnage was 82% higher than achieved in January and the average copper grade was 7% higher. Kansoko now has introduced a third mining crew, and is ramping up production. Kansoko will be an important part of the production mix for the Phase 2 concentrator plant when it begins operations – currently planned for Q3 2022.
Phase 1 copper production from the Kakula Mine is scheduled to begin in July 2021. Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade major copper mine, with an initial mining rate of 3.8 Mtpa at an estimated early average feed grade of more than 6.0% copper, ramping up to 7.6 Mtpa in Q3 2022. 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.
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 Kamoa-Kakula Copper Project is a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines (39.6%), Zijin Mining Group (39.6%), Crystal River Global Limited (0.8%) and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo (20%).
Mechanic Landry Moma Twite performing maintenance on a jumbo drill rig at the Kakula North heavy equipment workshop.
Construction is advancing rapidly on the concentrator equipment workshop (left) and storehouse (right).
The bulk reclaim tip at the Kakula Mine is nearing completion.
February’s ore production was 13% higher than January at slightly higher grades; pre-production surface ore stockpiles now total approximately 2.16 million tonnes grading 4.44% copper
Chart 1: Cumulative tonnes and grade of pre-production ore stockpiles at the Kakula and Kansoko mines – May 2020 to February 2021.
Chart 2: Growth in contained copper in pre-production ore stockpiles at the Kakula and Kansoko mines – May 2020 to February 2021.
Chart 3: Projected growth in contained copper in pre-production stockpiles at the Kakula and Kansoko mines up to July 2021. Dotted lines denote projections based on the 2020 pre-feasibility study.
The ore being mined from the northern portion of the Kakula Mine is transported to surface via the conveyor system and placed on a blended surface stockpile that now contains approximately 1.23 million tonnes grading an estimated 4.65% copper.
Additional pre-production ore stockpiles are located at the Kakula southern decline (677,000 tonnes at a blended grade of 4.47% copper) and the Kansoko decline (251,000 tonnes at blended grade of 3.31% copper).
Kakula’s main pre-production stockpiles at the northern declines. The blended stockpiles currently contain approximately 1.23 million tonnes grading 4.65% copper.
Kakula southern decline blended ore stockpiles containing approximately 677,000 tonnes grading 4.47% copper (consisting of 341,000 high-grade tonnes @ 6.10% copper and 336,000 medium grade tonnes @ 2.81% copper).
Kansoko decline blended ore stockpiles containing 251,000 tonnes grading 3.31% copper (consisting of 35,000 high-grade tonnes @ 5.56% copper and 216,000 medium-grade tonnes @ 2.95% copper).
Figure 1: Underground development completed at Kakula Mine to February 27, 2021 (in black).
Construction of the initial 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant and other surface infrastructure now 78% complete; first stage of commissioning underway; earthworks and civil works progressing well for the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant
Overall progress of Kamoa-Kakula’s first phase, 3.8-Mtpa mining and milling operation (covering mine infrastructure, concentrator plant and surface infrastructure) now is approximately 78% complete, compared to 71% in January. Overall construction of the project’s first phase, 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant and associated facilities is advancing rapidly and is approximately 62% complete, up from 43% complete last month. The concentrator plant remains on track to be mechanically complete in Q2 2021, with first copper concentrate production scheduled for July 2021.
Delivery of equipment for the first concentrator plant is nearing completion with more than 2,370 truckloads of equipment and material having been delivered to site. The last shipments of switchgear and transformers for emergency power are scheduled to arrive in March and April 2021, respectively. The first shipment of the sand filter has arrived, with the remaining shipments expected in March.
Structural steel erection and platework installation for the first concentrator plant is effectively complete. The structural, mechanical, piping and platework (SMPP) contractor now is focused on piping and valve installation; this is nearing 70% completion.
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.
Punch listing and the first stage of commissioning (C1 – construction/mechanical complete) has started with a number of areas of the concentrator plant deemed “construction complete”. During the first stage of commissioning, the plant is not energized with electrical power. The next stage (C2 – pre-commissioning) of plant commissioning will see the plant energized for motor, instrumentation and control system electrical checks.
A 3D illustration of Kakula’s initial 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant, with the recently-initiated Phase 2, 3.8-Mtpa processing plant shown in magenta. The picture below shows the currentconstruction progress. The plant’s flotation cells (green) and ball mills (yellow) are more than 85% complete and first-stage commissioning has begun.
Electrical installation at the backfill plant is well advanced and construction completion is expected at roughly the same time as the processing plant. The backfill plant is scheduled to be complete well before paste backfill is required for mining operations.
The backfill plant will be used to mix tailings from the processing 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 tailings storage facility is progressing well and is scheduled to be completed well ahead of the required date.
Construction of the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant is progressing well with the current focus on earthworks and civil works. Both earthworks and civil works are tracking slightly ahead of schedule. With orders for all the long-lead items of equipment for the Phase 2 concentrator placed in September 2020, procurement activities have focused on the remainder of the plant equipment. The contract for structural steel supply has been placed and the SMPP erection contract is under negotiation.
Construction of the secondary crushing building now is complete.
A 3D illustration of the finished ball mills area for the Phase 1, 3.8 Mtpa concentrator, with the next two ball mills for the recently-initiated Phase 2 concentrator plant shown in magenta. The picture immediately below shows the current construction progress.
The Phase 1 tailings and concentrate thickeners are more than 90% complete, and work is underway for the foundations for the Phase 2 thickeners (red circle).
Workers installing an impermeable liner on the raw-water storage reservoir that will supply process water to the concentrator plant.
A 3D illustration of Kakula’s first phase, finished backfill plant, with the current construction and the initial 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant in the background shown immediately below.
Ongoing construction of the concrete foundations for the ball mills for the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant.
Pouring concrete foundations for the Phase 2 concentrator flotation cells.
Discussions for the marketing of Kakula’s copper concentrates nearing completion
Kamoa-Kakula is nearing the completion of agreements with respect to the sale of its copper concentrates during Phase 1 operations. 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 220-kV national electrical grid; the first of six turbines at the refurbished Mwadingusha hydropower plant now synchronized to the national electrical grid – providing clean, renewable hydropower
In December 2020, the 35-kilometre-long double circuit 220-kilovolt (kV) power line to Kamoa-Kakula was connected to the national electrical grid through theNew Western Dispatch (NRO) substation in Kolwezi. Kamoa-Kakula’s main 220-kV substation is nearing completion and is expected to be energized by the end of March.
Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC also announced that the first of six new turbines at the Mwadingusha hydropower plant was synchronized to the national electrical grid in December 2020. The commissioning of the hydropower plant’s remaining five generating units, in sequence, is in progress. This will ensure that Kamoa-Kakula’s power requirements are secured ahead of the commissioning of the concentrator plant.
The fully-refurbished Mwadingusha hydropower plant is expected to deliver approximately 78 megawatts of power to the national electrical grid.
COVID-19 prevention and treatment initiatives enhanced while maintaining risk management strategy
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.
(Left to right) John Grech (millwright), Guy Nkunda Mvamba (mechanic), Benoit Mpungwe (mechanic), Gert Strydom (millwright) and Alain Lukusa Bonolo (auto electrician) at the Kakula North heavy equipment workshop.
Doralie Kona, Kamoa Copper’s Specialized Administrator, Construction/Projects, in the Kamoa North offices.
Mulopwe Bunda (left) and Alain Mukoj (right) inspecting cabbage plants at a local community garden– a Kamoa-Kakula sustainability initiative to build and support successful food-production activities in nearby communities.
Mapinji Kabwita, a Kamoa Copper employee, tending to oranges at the Kamoa-Kakula Livelihoods demonstration garden.
Residents of the village of Chinde Chinde collecting fresh water from a new community borehole, another Kamoa-Kakula sustainability initiative.
Disclosures of a scientific or technical nature regarding 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 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.
The stockpile grade estimates contained in this release are based upon bulk ore sampling from earlier underground headings, and vertical channel sample profiles from recent development. Bulk ore sampling was done on each heading every second blast and three 5-kilogram samples were taken. Since the beginning of October 2020, channel sample profiles are the primary data informing the stockpile grade estimates. These are cut approximately 15 metres apart in 1-metre vertical increments across the full vertical exposure using a handheld grinder, with a 100-to-150-gram sample collected. The samples are pulverized at the project’s onsite laboratory and analyzed using a portable XRF (pXRF) instrument. Kamoa Copper has routinely analyzed its exploration drill core for copper using pXRF, in addition to analysis at a commercial laboratory using four acid digest and ICP-OES. This data has demonstrated that pXRF results can be relied upon for grade control and run-of-mine sampling.
Ivanhoe has prepared an independent, NI 43-101-compliant technical report for the Kamoa-Kakula Project, which is available on the company’s website and under the company’s SEDAR profile at www.sedar.com:
- 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.
The technical report includes relevant information regarding the assumptions, parameters and methods of the mineral resource estimates on 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.
About Ivanhoe Mines
Ivanhoe Mines is a Canadian mining company focused on advancing its three principal joint-venture projects in Southern Africa: the development of major new, mechanized, underground mines at the Kamoa-Kakula copper discoveries in the DRC and at the Platreef palladium-platinum-nickel-copper-rhodium-gold discovery in South Africa; and the extensive redevelopment and upgrading of the historic Kipushi zinc-copper-germanium-silver mine, also in the DRC.
Kamoa-Kakula is expected to begin producing copper in July 2021 and, through phased expansions, is positioned to become one of the world's largest copper producers. Kamoa-Kakula and Kipushi will be powered by clean, renewable hydro-generated electricity and will be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of metal produced. Ivanhoe also is exploring for new copper discoveries on its wholly-owned Western Foreland exploration licences in the DRC, near the Kamoa-Kakula Project.
Investors: Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834 / Media: Matthew Keevil +1.604.558.1034
Certain statements in this 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 this release.
Such statements include without limitation, the timing and results of: (i) statements regarding the Kamoa-Kakula Project is on track to have approximately three million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore stockpiled on surface, containing more than 125,000 tonnes of copper, prior to the planned start of production in July 2021; (ii) statements regarding the Phase 1 concentrator plant remains on track to be mechanically complete in Q2 2021, with first copper concentrate production scheduled for July 202; (iii) statements that the risk of the risk of spreading or cross-contamination of COVID-19 at the Kamoa-Kakula Project is considered to be very low; (iv) statements regarding the expectation that Phase 2 of the project’s development when the Kakula concentrator processing capacity doubles to 7.6 Mtpa is to be commissioned in Q3 2022; (v) statements regarding Kakula is projected to be the world’s highest-grade major copper mine, with an initial mining rate of 3.8 Mtpa at an estimated average feed grade of more than 6.0% copper over the first five years of operation; (vi) statements regarding Phases 1 and 2 combined are forecast to produce up to approximately 400,000 tonnes of copper per year; (vii) statements regarding 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; (viii) statements regarding Kamoa-Kakula will be among the world's lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced; (ix) statements regarding Kamoa-Kakula should have more than sufficient stockpiles ahead of the Phase 2 concentrator commissioning; (x) statements regarding approximately one half of the mine’s tailings will be sent back underground; (xi) statements regarding Kakula is expected to produce an extremely high grade and clean copper concentrate (containing over 55% copper and extremely low arsenic levels by world standards – approximately 0.01%) that will be highly coveted by copper smelters around the world; (xii) statements regarding the fully-refurbished Mwadingusha hydropower plant is expected to deliver approximately 78 megawatts of power to the national grid; (xiii) statements regarding energizing of Kakula’s main electrical substation and the concentrator plant by the end of March 2021; and (xiv) statements regarding long-term copper price sensitivities and the impact of project economics.
As well, all of the results of the Kakula definitive feasibility study, the Kakula-Kansoko pre-feasibility
study and the Kamoa-Kakula preliminary economic assessment, 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 Project, 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; (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.
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 this release, 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 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 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 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 below in the “Risk Factors” section in the company’s Q3 2020 MD&A and its current annual information form.
刚果民主共和国科卢韦齐 — 艾芬豪矿业 (TSX: IVN; OTCQX:IVPAF) 联席董事长罗伯特·弗里兰德 (Robert Friedland) 与孙玉峰 (Miles Sun) 今天欣然宣布，其位于刚果民主共和国 (以下简称“刚果(金)”) 的卡莫阿-卡库拉铜矿项目地下开拓工程采出的矿石量，首次超越第一序列380万吨/年选厂的稳态月度需求。2月份在卡库拉和卡索科矿山共采出339,000吨矿石，铜品位5.50%; 相较1月份采出的矿石量增加了13%，铜品位持续上升趋势。
艾芬豪矿业资源部副总裁乔治·吉尔克里斯特 (George Gilchrist) (左) 和卡莫阿铜业高级地质主管Franck Twite (右) 正在卡库拉圈定超高品位矿带的范围。刻槽取样分析结果显示，深灰色辉铜矿层位铜品位接近10%。
铜价有望持续上涨，使项目出色的经济性备受关注 (长期铜价4.00美元/磅 - 4.50美元/磅)
2020 年 9 月，艾芬豪公布卡莫阿-卡库拉铜矿项目的2020年独立综合开发方案 (以下简称“IDP20”) 的非凡经济测算结果。IDP20包括三种开发规划：卡库拉最终可行性研究 (以下简称“DFS”) — 年处理矿石600万吨、卡库拉-卡索科预可行性研究 (以下简称“PFS”) — 年处理矿石760万吨，以及卡莫阿-卡库拉初步经济评估 (以下简称“PEA”) — 年处理矿石1,900万吨。IDP20经济分析的基础情形，以实际长期铜价3.10美元/磅开展测算。
自IDP20公布后，铜金属的现货价格已飙升至九年来的最高点，达到4.30美元/磅以上。虽然铜价持续上涨的势头不变，艾芬豪并没有因此更改长期铜价的假设，但仍需仔细研究IDP20公布时各种开发方案使用的长期铜价的敏感性 (长期铜价4.00美元/ 磅或8,818美元/吨，以及4.50美元/磅或9,921美元/吨)。
卡库拉2020 FS重点论证了年处理矿石600万吨产能的开发方案，预计产生55亿美元的税后净现值 (折现率8%) 和77%的内部收益率 (以长期铜价3.10美元/磅测算)，并提高至84亿美元的税后净现值和100%内部收益率 (以铜价4.00美元/磅测算)，以及95亿美元的税后净现值和106.9%内部收益率 (以铜价4.50美元/磅测算)。
卡库拉-卡索科2020 PFS重点论证了年处理矿石760万吨产能的开发方案，预计产生66亿美元的税后净现值 (折现率8%) 和69%的内部收益率 (以长期铜价3.10美元/磅测算)，并提高至105亿美元的税后净现值和93%内部收益率 (以铜价4.00美元/磅测算)，以及120亿美元的税后净现值和99.8%内部收益率 (以铜价4.50美元/磅测算)。
卡莫阿-卡库拉2020 PEA重点论证了年处理矿量1,900万吨产能的开发方案，预计产生111亿美元的税后净现值 (折现率8%) 和56.2%的内部收益率 (以长期铜价3.10美元/磅测算)，并提高至181亿美元的税后净现值和79.9%内部收益率 (以铜价4.00美元/磅计算)，以及209亿美元的税后净现值和89%内部收益率 (以铜价4.50美元/磅计算)。
弗里兰德先生补充说﹕“项目第三及第四序列扩大产能至处理矿石1,900万吨/年的方案，具有极可观的经济活力。一旦项目扩产至1,900万吨/年，卡莫阿-卡库拉将成为全球第二大铜矿山，年度最高铜产量将超过800,000吨。我们的团队在全资拥有的、广袤的西部前沿 (Western Foreland) 的勘查工作主要还只是集中在地表。西部前沿毗邻卡莫阿-卡库拉矿山，拥有近乎相同的地质特征，将会是本年度及未来的重点勘查区域。”
卡库拉矿区的进路充填采矿作业进展顺利，1月份开采的矿石，约70%来自回采作业，其余来自掘进。进路充填是一种高效的地下采矿方法，完成一条单一的巷道 (称为采场) 的采矿后，进行采空区回填，进而可以依次开采相邻的采场。
卡莫阿铜业首席执行官马克·法伦 (Mark Farren) 说﹕“卡库拉于2月份进行了主要传送带的转换工程，面临艰巨挑战的情况下，2月份的开拓工程仍然表现出色。转换工程期间，地下矿石卸载系统暂停一个星期，需由卡车运送矿石到地表，因此拖慢了掘进和矿石转载拉运的进度。虽然工程一度受到阻碍，但采掘班组仍然表现优秀，开采和运送到地表矿堆的矿石量和铜品位都创下了新纪录。”
工作人员在卡库拉矿床中心的高品位矿段 (10米高x7.5米宽) 操作凿岩台车。
移动设备电工Raul Mwenze 与成千上万的年轻刚果人才，携手将卡莫阿-卡库拉打造成世界下一个重大铜矿。
卡莫阿-卡库拉铜矿项目是艾芬豪矿业 (占股39.6%)、紫金矿业集团 (占股39.6%)、晶河全球 (占股0.8%) 及刚果(金)政府 (占股20%) 的合资项目。
技工Landry Moma Twite在卡库拉北部的重型设备工场进行凿岩台车的维护工作。
选矿设备车间 (左) 和仓库 (右) 的建设正在迅速推进。
此外，项目还有另外两个投产前矿堆，分别位于卡库拉南斜坡道 (677,000吨矿石，平均铜品位4.47%) 和卡索科斜坡道 (251,000 吨矿石，平均铜品位3.31%)。
卡库拉南斜坡道的混合矿石堆场目前已储备约677,000 矿石，铜品位4.47% (其中包含341,000吨高品位矿石，铜品位6.10%；以及336,000吨中等品位矿石，铜品位2.81%)。
卡莫阿-卡库拉第一序列年处理矿石380万吨的开采选矿作业 (包括矿山基础设施、选厂和地表基础设施) 整体进展顺利，目前已完成约78% (1月份完成至71%)。项目第一座380万吨/年选厂和相关设施的整体建设正在快速推进，目前已完成约62%，上月完成至43%。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。
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。
选厂多个被视为"已竣工"的厂区，目前正展开工程项目清单核查和第一阶段试车 (C1 — 建设/机械工程完工)。第一阶段试车期间，选厂尚未通电。第二阶段试车 (C2 — 投产前试车) 期间，选厂将会通电以进行电动机、仪表和控制系统的电器检测。图片上半部分为卡库拉380万吨/年初始选厂的三维示意图，规划中的第二座380万吨/年选厂以紫色显示。图片下半部分显示了当前的施工进度。选厂的浮选车间 (绿色) 和球磨机 (黄色) 的施工已完成85%以上，并已展开第一阶段试车。
第一组尾矿和精矿浓密机的施工已完成90%以上，第二组浓密机 (红圈) 的地基建设正在进行中。
2020年12月，卡莫阿-卡库拉连接的一条35公里长的220千伏双回线，与位于科卢韦齐的西部调度 (Western Dispatch) 变电站通电。卡莫阿-卡库拉的220千伏主要变电站已将近完工，预计于3月底通电。
艾芬豪矿业刚果 (金) 能源公司 (Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC) 公布，Mwadingusha水电站6台新涡轮机的第一台已于2020年12月份与国家电网同步。目前，水电站余下5台发电机正陆续进行调试，这将确保卡莫阿-卡库拉在选矿厂投产前获得充足的电力供应。
(从左至右) John Grech (技工)、Guy Nkunda Mvamba (机械工)、Benoit Mpungwe (机械工)、Gert Strydom (技工)及Alain Lukusa Bonolo (移动设备电工) 在卡库拉北部的重型设备车间。
Mulopwe Bunda (左) 和Alain Mukoj (右) 在当地社区的种植园视察卷心菜作物。这是卡莫阿-卡库拉可持续民生计划的举措，帮助附近社区建立粮食生产活动并提供支援。
本新闻稿中关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目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。
本新闻稿所载的矿堆品位估算值是基于早前从地下巷道的大样以及从最近开展的垂直剖面刻槽取样。每个巷道进行第二次爆破时取样，并采集3个5公斤重的样品。从2020年10月起使用刻槽取样的样品作为矿堆品位估算的主要数据，大约每15米在整个垂直剖面上使用手持式切割机按1米垂直间隔进行采样，收集100-150克重的样品。在项目现场实验室磨样加工后，使用便携式XRF (pXRF) 仪器进行分析。除了在商业实验室利用4酸消解和ICP-OES进行分析之外，卡莫阿铜业也经常使用pXRF分析钻孔岩芯中的铜含量。该数据表明，pXRF结果可用于品位控制和原矿取样。
艾芬豪已经为卡莫阿-卡库拉项目编制了一份符合NI 43-101 标准的独立技术报告，该报告可在艾芬豪网站以及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。
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合资企业项目﹕位于刚果(金)的卡莫阿-卡库拉铜矿和位于南非的普拉特瑞夫 (Platreef) 钯-铂-镍-铜-铑-金矿的大型机械化地下矿山开发工程，以及同样位于刚果(金)、久负盛名的基普什 (Kipushi) 锌-铜-锗-银矿的大型重建和改善工程。
投资者﹕Bill Trenaman +1.604.331.9834 / 媒体﹕Matthew Keevil +1.604.558.1034
本新闻稿载有的某些陈述可能构成适用于证券法所定义的"前瞻性陈述"或"前瞻性信息"。该等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、其项目或行业的业绩，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。该等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。
该等陈述包括但不限于下列事项的时间点和结果﹕(i) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目将按计划于2021年7月实现投产前，在地表堆场储备约300万吨高品位和中品位矿石，含有超过125,000吨铜金属的陈述；(ii) 关于第一座选矿厂将按计划于2021年第二季度完工，并于2021年7月实现首批铜精矿生产的陈述； (iii) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目一旦出现COVID-19感染病例，传播或交叉感染的风险也非常低的陈述；(iv) 关于项目在进行第二序列开发时，卡库拉选矿厂扩大至760万吨/年的产能需求，预计于2022年第三季度实现投产的陈述；(v) 关于卡库拉矿山预期将会成为全球品位最高的大型铜矿，初始年处理矿量为380万吨，预计投产后前5年的平均入选铜品位达6.0%以上的陈述；(vi) 关于第一和第二序列总共每年将会生产高达约400,000吨铜金属的陈述； (vii) 关于根据独立的研究机构排名，一旦项目扩产至1,900万吨/年，卡莫阿-卡库拉将成为全世界第二大铜矿山，年度最高铜产量将超过800,000吨的陈述；(viii) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目将会成为全球每单位铜的温室气体排放量最低矿山之一的陈述；(ix) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉第二座选矿厂投产之前将会储备足够矿堆量的陈述；(x) 关于矿山约一半的尾矿将被泵送回地下的陈述；(xi) 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，相较全球标准含砷量极低，约为0.01%)，将会是世界各地铜冶炼厂渴求的高质量产品的陈述；(xii) 关于Mwadingusha水电站全面翻新后预计将向国家电网提供约78兆瓦电力的陈述；(xiii) 关于卡库拉主要变电站和选矿厂将于2021年3月底通电的陈述；以及(xiv) 关于长期铜价敏感度和项目经济潜力影响的陈述。
此外，卡库拉最终可行性研究、卡库拉-卡索科预可行性研究及卡莫阿-卡库拉初步经济评估的所有结果，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、建议采矿方案和方法、矿山寿命估计、现金流预测、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；(xvi) 项目范围或设计更变；以及(xvii) 政治因素。