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) mined and stockpiled a record 400,000 tonnes of ore grading 5.36% copper from the Kakula and Kansoko mines in March. This tonnage was 18% higher than the 339,000 tonnes mined and stockpiled in February.
The 400,000 tonnes mined in March comprised 364,100 tonnes grading 5.52% copper from the Kakula Mine, including 100,000 tonnes grading 8.70% copper from the mine’s high-grade centre, and 36,000 tonnes grading 3.78% copper from the Kansoko Mine.
The project’s pre-production surface stockpiles now contain approximately 2.56 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade ore at an estimated blended average of 4.60% copper. Contained copper in the stockpiles increased by approximately 21,500 tonnes in March – to a cumulative total of more than 117,000 tonnes (the current copper price is approximately US$9,100 a tonne).
Kamoa-Kakula is on track to substantially exceed the 3.0 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade stockpiled ore, holding more than 125,000 tonnes of contained copper, that the 2020 pre-feasibility study projected would be stockpiled prior to the planned start of processing in July 2021.
Underground mine development continues well ahead of schedule
Kamoa-Kakula also set a fresh monthly mine development record in March, with an advancement of more than 3,100 metres, bringing total underground development to approximately 38.6 kilometres – around 13.5 kilometres ahead of schedule.
Drift-and-fill stoping operations are progressing well at the Kakula Mine, with approximately 70% of the 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: “The outstanding mining rate in March was driven by improved crew efficiencies and a higher percentage of ore coming from drift-and-fill stoping operations. We are comfortable with the mining performance as we move into final commissioning of the Phase 1, 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant. If we consistently mine at around 400,000 tonnes per month, we will continue to add to the surface stockpiles ahead of our Phase 2, 7.6 Mtpa concentrator plant commissioning, which is expected in Q3 2022.
“We will continue to monitor the mining rate to ensure there is a balance between the number of new mining crews we add to our underground operations and the surface ore stockpiles ahead of Phase 2 commissioning. The large surface ore stockpiles will give us considerable flexibility during the ramp up of Phase 2 production.”
Mr. Friedland added: “It is extremely encouraging to see how much better the project’s actual mining performance has been compared to the projections presented in the 2020 independent definitive feasibility and pre-feasibility studies. This is a testament to the determination and resilience of our on-site team that has worked tirelessly over the last year to deliver the first phase of this massive project on time and on budget, despite the challenges posed by COVID-19. As we continue to ramp-up underground operations at the Kakula and Kansoko mines, and expand the processing facilities, our primary focus remains on the health, safety and well-being of our employees and contractors.
The proceeds from our recently completed US$575 million, 2.50% convertible senior note financing opens the distinct possibility of earlier development of Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 expansion to 11.4 Mtpa, which would bring copper production at the Tier One copper mine to approximately 530,000 tonnes, or approximately 1.2 billion pounds, per year. The funding also allows us to quickly expand our exploration program on our Western Foreland licences adjoining Kamoa-Kakula, in pursuit of our next world-scale copper discovery.”
Chancelle Kabinda, Utility Vehicle Operator – one of many talented Congolese women helping to build Kamoa-Kakula into the world’s next great copper mine.
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.
Given the current copper price environment, Ivanhoe and its partner Zijin are 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 new mining areas at Kamoa North (including the Bonanza Zone) and Kakula West.
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%).
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.
March’s ore production was 18% higher than February at slightly lower grades; pre-production surface ore stockpiles now total approximately 2.56 million tonnes grading 4.60% copper
Chart 1: Cumulative tonnes and grade of pre-production ore stockpiles at the Kakula and Kansoko mines – May 2020 to March 2021.
Chart 2: Growth in contained copper in pre-production ore stockpiles at the Kakula and Kansoko mines – May 2020 to March 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 1.44 million tonnes grading an estimated 4.86% copper.
Additional pre-production ore stockpiles are located at the Kakula southern decline (826,000 tonnes at a blended grade of 4.56% copper) and the Kansoko decline (287,000 tonnes at blended grade of 3.37% copper).
Kakula’s main pre-production stockpiles at the northern declines. The blended stockpiles currently contain approximately 1.44 million tonnes grading 4.86% copper.
Kakula southern decline blended ore stockpiles containing approximately 826,000 tonnes grading 4.56% copper (consisting of 380,000 high-grade tonnes @ 6.33% copper and 447,000 medium grade tonnes @ 3.06% copper).
Kansoko decline blended ore stockpiles containing 287,000 tonnes grading 3.37% copper (consisting of 50,000 high-grade tonnes @ 5.50% copper and 238,000 medium-grade tonnes @ 2.92% copper).
Figure 1: Underground development completed at Kakula Mine to April 3, 2021 (in black).
Construction of the initial 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant and other surface infrastructure now 90% complete
Kamoa-Kakula’s initial 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant is nearing completion and commissioning is well underway. The foundations for the Phase 2 concentrator plant are alongside the Phase 1 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 90% complete (as of end of March), compared to 86% at the end of February.
Watch a short video highlighting Kamoa-Kakula’s outstanding ESG initiatives: https://vimeo.com/533509420
Overall construction of the project’s first phase, 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant and associated facilities is advancing rapidly and is approximately 92% complete (as of end of March), up from 85% complete at the end of February. 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 effectively is complete with 2,426 truckloads of equipment and material having been delivered to site. The last shipments of transformers for emergency power and some components for the sand filter plant are scheduled to arrive this month; neither will delay commissioning.
Structural steel erection, platework installation and piping and valve installation for the first concentrator plant is effectively complete, with only minor small bore piping still outstanding.
Electrical, controls and instrumentation installation is the last activity before construction completion and subsequent commissioning. Cable installation and cable termination is nearing completion with the focus now on instrument cabling and terminations. Two plant electrical substations have been energized on temporary power (milling and flotation) to allow for early C2 (second-stage) commissioning, which involves energizing motor control centers and checking drives and electrical signals. Energizing of the main concentrator plant substation on permanent medium-voltage power is scheduled for early this month.
Punch listing and C1 (first-stage) commissioning sign off is well underway with approximately half of the 1,070 C1 certificates signed off and handed over from construction to commissioning. C2 commissioning has started in the milling and flotation areas using temporary power from the two substations.
Hong Wang, Mechanical Fitter, checking the alignment of pinion and girth gears of the primary ball mill during commissioning of the Phase 1 concentrator plant.
Electrical installation at the backfill plant is ongoing and construction completion is expected at roughly the same time as the concentrator 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 on time to receive tailings from the processing plant.
Kakula’s Phase 1, 3.8-Mtpa flotation cells, tailings and concentrate thickeners, and concentrate storage building at night. Foundations for the Phase 2 flotation cells are on the left.
Kakula’s Phase 1 ball mills at night.
Earthworks and civil works progressing well for the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant, with the first delivery of long-lead items now on site
Construction of the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant (Phase 2) 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. Structural steel fabrication is underway with the first batch complete and due to arrive on site in June. Contract negotiations for thesteel, mechanical, piping and plate erection are expected to conclude shortly.
Foundations for the second 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant advancing quickly.
A 3D illustration of Kakula’s initial 3.8-Mtpa concentrator plant, with the Phase 2, 3.8-Mtpa processing plant shown in magenta. The picture immediately below shows the currentconstruction progress.
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 Phase 2 concentrator plant shown in magenta. The picture immediately below shows the current construction progress.
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.
Contractors installing metal sheeting on the concentrate storage building.
By-pass stockpile feed conveyor system, with the run-of-mine stockpile in the upper right corner.
Kakula’s mine water settling ponds that receive surplus water pumped from underground. Some of the water will be used in the concentrator plant.
Negotiations for the marketing of Kakula’s copper concentrates expected to conclude in April
Kamoa-Kakula is nearing 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, clean copper concentrate (containing over 55% copper) that will be highly coveted by 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’s main 220-kV substation energized with clean, renewable hydropower; upgrading work at the Mwadingusha hydropower plant nearing completion
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 substation in Kolwezi. Kamoa-Kakula’s main 220-kV substation was energized with 220-kV power from the national power grid on March 25 and the first of two 33-kV transformers on March 29th. The next milestone is to energize the main plant 33-kV substation, which will then allow power reticulation to all of the plant’s lower-voltage substations.
Two of the six new turbines at the Mwadingusha hydropower plant now have been synchronized to the national electrical grid, with each generating unit producing approximately 13 megawatts of power. The completion and commissioning of the hydropower plant’s remaining four 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.
Electrical engineers from Andritz Hydro of Switzerland, CEGELEC of France, and the DRC’s Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL), monitoring the commissioning of Mwadingusha’s turbines 2 and 3 from the control room. Commissioning of turbine 6, the fourth in the sequence of commissioning, is scheduled to start in mid-April.
Yves Tshivuadi, Cherry Picker Operator, and Idriss Bibwe, Mechanic Fitter, connecting a surge arrestor and voltage transformer at Kamoa-Kakula’s main 220-kV substation.
Ben Munanga, newly appointed Chairman of Kamoa Copper, monitoring the energizing of the main 220-kV substation along with members of senior management of SNEL and Kamoa Copper.
Members of SNEL’s senior management and senior members of Kamoa Copper at the energized Kakula 220-Kv substation. From left to right: Kayembe Bukasa Cedric, Divisional Head, Communications, SNEL; Johan Nortje, Engineering Manager, Kamoa Copper; Doudou Bakutu, Divisional Head of Protection & Metering, SNEL; Chris Kabongo, Senior Engineer, Kamoa Copper; and Gilbert Tshilumba, Divisional Head of High Voltage Customers, SNEL.
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.
Fabrice Mitonga, Process instructor (right), with a class of new recruits that will be operating the Phase 1 concentrator plant.
Jerome Mangenda, Miner trainee, practices explosives wiring procedures at the Kamoa-Kakula training centre.
Jean Kamwang, Headmaster and teacher, with some of his students at the newly renovated Agronomist Technical Institute in the local village of Musokantanda, a Kamoa-Kakula Livelihoods education initiative.
Marie Kapepa, a student at the Musokantanda Agronomist Technical Institute.
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 Kamoa-Kakula is on track to substantially exceed the 3.0 million tonnes of high-grade and medium-grade stockpiled ore, holding more than 125,000 tonnes of contained copper, that the 2020 pre-feasibility study projected would be stockpiled prior to the planned start of processing 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 Phase 2 structural steel fabrication is underway with the first batch complete and due to arrive on site in June and contract negotiations for the steel, mechanical, piping and plate erection are expected to conclude shortly; (ix) statements regarding energizing of the main concentrator plant substation on permanent medium-voltage power is scheduled for early in April; and (x) statements regarding Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 expansion would bring copper production at the Tier One copper mine to approximately 530,000 tonnes, or approximately 1.2 billion pounds, per year.
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 (Kamoa-Kakula) 铜矿项目地下采矿再次打破记录，3月份在卡库拉 (Kakula) 和卡索科 (Kansoko) 矿山共采出40万吨矿石，铜品位5.36%; 相较 2月份采出的 339,000 吨矿石增加了18%。
卡库拉矿区的进路充填采矿作业进展顺利，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﹕“3月份的采矿进度表现出色，主要由于进路充填采矿作业提升了采掘班组的效率，并增加了采出的矿石量。我们有信心，以目前的开采进度，第一序列的380万吨/年选厂将会顺利进入最终的调试阶段。如果我们保续每月开采约40万吨矿石，我们将在第二序列的760万吨/年选厂调试 (预计于2022年第三季度进行) 之前继续增加地表的堆矿量。
“我们将会继续监控采矿的进度，以确保我们在地下采矿作业增加采掘班组的人手与第二序列调试之前地表矿堆的矿石量之间取得平衡。地表矿堆储备的大量矿石，将使我们具有更大的灵活性以加快实现 II 期投产。”
“公司最近完成发行的5.75亿美元、票息率2.50%的高级可转债所得的融资收入，为提前开始 III期提升产能至1,140万吨/年的扩建工程提供了明显的可能性，届时卡莫阿-卡库拉一级铜矿的产量将可达到每年53万吨铜，约12亿磅。这笔资金还有助于扩大和加快在毗邻卡莫阿-卡库拉的西部前沿 (Western Foreland) 探矿权内的勘查计划，寻找下一个世界级的铜矿资源。”
工程车操作员 Chancelle Kabinda 是众多刚果女性人才之一，她们正在携手将卡莫阿-卡库拉打造成为全球下一个大型铜矿山。
卡库拉矿山计划于2021年7月实现 I 期铜生产，预期将会成为全球品位最高的大型铜矿，初始年开采矿石380万吨，估算的平均入选品位超过6.0%，其后于2022年第三季度提升产能至760万吨/年。
I 期和 II 期投产后每年将累计生产高达40万吨的铜。根据独立研究机构排名，一旦项目扩大产能至1,900万吨/年，卡莫阿-卡库拉将成为全球第二大铜矿山，最高年产量将超过80万吨铜。
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，将选厂产能从760万吨/年提升至1,140万吨/年，并将由卡索科和卡莫阿北区 (包括富矿带) 新的采区供给矿石。
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。
另外两个投产前矿堆分别位于卡库拉南斜坡道 (826,000吨矿石，平均铜品位4.56%) 和卡索科斜坡道 (287,000吨矿石，平均铜品位3.37%)。
卡莫阿-卡库拉I期380万吨/年采选作业 (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90% (截至3月底)，相比于2月底完成至86%。
EC&I (电器、控制和仪表) 安装是建设工程是选厂竣工和试车之前的最后一项作业。电缆安装和电缆终端设置已接近完成，目前正全力进行仪表的电缆安装和终端设置。两座变电站已接入临时供电(选厂和浮选车间)，以尽早展开第二阶段试车 (C2)，这包括为电机控制中心接电以及检查驱动器和电力信号。选厂的主变电站将于本月开始获得中压电源的长期供应。
第二序列380万吨/年选厂 (II期) 施工进展顺利，目前正重点进行土方和土木工程，两项工程都稍微超越既定目标。因2020年9月第二序列选厂的长周期设备已下订单，采购工作将会集中在余下的厂房设备。钢结构正在制造中，首批生产已经完成，并将于6月送达现场。目前正在谈判钢材、机械、管道和钣金的安装合同，预计近期达成协议。
2020年12月，卡莫阿-卡库拉连接的一条35公里长的220千伏双回路输电线，经科卢韦齐的西部调度 (Western Dispatch) 变电站与国家电网接通。卡莫阿-卡库拉的220千伏主变电站于3月25日起从国家电网获得220千伏的电力供应，并于3月29日与两台33千伏变压器的第一台接电。下一个里程碑是为主要厂房的33千伏变电站供电，这将使所有厂房的低压变电站获得电力供应。
瑞士的 Andritz Hydro 、法国的 CEGELEC和刚果 (金) 的Société Nationale d’Electricité (以下简称“SNEL”) 的电气工程师在控制室监控Mwadingusha水电站 2号和3号涡轮机的调试工作。6号涡轮机将会是第四台进行调试的涡轮机，计划于4月中进行。
小型卷扬机操作员 Yves Tshivuadi 和机械装配工 Idriss Bibwe，在卡莫阿-卡库拉 220千伏主变电站将避电器接驳到变压器。
卡莫阿铜业新任命的董事长 Ben Munanga 与 SNEL 和卡莫阿铜业的高管人员一同监视220千伏变电站的供电情况。
SNEL 的高管和卡莫阿铜业的高级成员在已通电的卡库拉 220 千伏变电站。从左至右﹕SNEL 传讯部主管 Kayembe Bukasa Cedric、卡莫阿铜业工程经理 Johan Nortje、SNEL 保护与计量部主管 Doudou Bakutu、卡莫阿铜业高级工程师 Chris Kabongo，以及 SNEL 高压客户部主管 Gilbert Tshilumba。
选矿指导员 Fabrice Mitonga (右) 与一批新入职的员工，他们将会负责第一序列选厂的作业。
矿工学徒 Jerome Mangenda 在卡莫阿-卡库拉培训中心练习炸药接线的步骤。
校长兼老师 Jean Kamwang 和他的一些学生在当地 Musokantanda 村新装修的农业技术学院，这是卡莫阿-卡库拉民生教育举措的一部分。
Musokantanda 农业技术学院的一名学生 Marie Kapepa。
本新闻稿中关于卡莫阿-卡库拉项目开发方案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)、久富盛名的基普什 (Kipushi) 锌-铜-锗-银矿的大型重建和改善工程。
卡莫阿-卡库拉铜矿项目预计将于2021年7月实现铜生产，并分阶段进行扩建，预计将会成为全球最大规模的铜生产商之一。卡莫阿-卡库拉和基普什将使用清洁、可再生的水电，并将成为世界上每单位金属温室气体排放量最低的矿山之一。同时，艾芬豪正在刚果 (金) 境内其全资拥有的、毗邻卡莫阿-卡库拉项目的西部前沿探矿权内寻找新的铜矿资源。
投资者：比尔·特伦曼 (Bill Trenaman)，电话：+1.604.331.9834 /
媒体：马修·基维尔 (Matthew Keevil)，电话：+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-卡库拉项目正按计划推进，将于2021年7月实现投产，投产前将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125,000吨铜金属量，远高于2020年预可行性研究预测数字的陈述；(ii) 关于第一序列选厂将按计划于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；(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II期开发时，卡库拉选厂扩大至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，初始年处理矿石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I 期和II 期投产后每年将累计生产高达40万吨铜的陈述；(vii) 关于根据独立研究机构排名，一旦项目扩大产能至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80万吨的陈述；(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-卡库拉第二序列选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) 关于卡库拉预计将生产品位极高的清洁铜精矿(铜品位超过55%，按照世界标准，卡库拉精矿的砷含量极低，约为0.01%)，它将是世界各地铜冶炼厂梦寐以求的产品的陈述；(xii ) 关于Mwadingusha水电厂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) 关于第二序列的结构钢正在制造中，首批生产已经完成，并将于6月送达现场，以及目前正在商宜钢材、机械、管道和板金的安装合同，预计快将达成协议的陈述；(ix) 关于选厂的主变电站将于4月初开始获得中压电源的长期供应的陈述；以及(x) 关于卡莫阿-卡库拉III期扩建工程，将使一级铜矿的产量提升到每年53万吨，约12亿磅的陈述。
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。