Ivanhoe Mines is fully-financed to Phase 1 copper production at the Kakula Mine, which is scheduled for Q3 2021, with consolidated cash of approximately US$496 million at the end of June 2020 and no significant debt
Ivanhoe Mines Co-Chairs Robert Friedland and Yufeng “Miles” Sun are pleased to announce today that the Kamoa-Kakula Copper joint venture has agreed to immediately proceed with orders for the long-lead equipment for the second, 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum (Mtpa) concentrator module at the Kakula Mine, which will double the mine’s processing capacity from 3.8 Mtpa to 7.6 Mtpa.
The earlier than planned placement of the orders for the concentrator’s long-lead equipment is expected to accelerate the completion of the Phase 2 mill expansion from Q1 2023 to Q2 2022.
“There are many smart people in the mining industry who strongly believe that copper is quickly approaching a supply and demand divergence; where the amount of copper being produced globally will be far outstripped by demand,” said Mr. Friedland. “As such, we want to ensure that the Kamoa-Kakula operation reaches its near-term production potential as expeditiously as possible, while also maintaining our strong balance sheet.”
“Getting into the queue now for the critical long-lead-time items, such as the ball mills, costs very little up-front money and enhances our flexibility to quickly move ahead on the first of multiple planned expansions.”
“The recent, independently-prepared pre-feasibility study for the expanded, 7.6 Mtpa mining operation – sourcing ore from both the Kakula and Kansoko mines – highlights the exceptional economic returns of this second phase development. Notably, the study outlines an after-tax NPV8% of US$6.6 billion and an IRR of 69% over a 37-year mine life, as well as payback of just 2.5 years,” Mr. Friedland added.
“This economic model assumes a copper price of US$3.10 per pound, although at least one major global investment bank is forecasting prices ranging from US$3.20 to US$3.60 per pound over the next six to twelve months based on its view that a supply deficit will form in 2021. The studies also assume that financing will be on the basis of 100% equity, providing the opportunity to increase returns by leveraging commercial or other debt facilities.”
Construction of Kakula’s initial 3.8-Mtpa processing plant is well underway, with the remaining long-lead items already delivered to site, with the exception of the transformers, expected in October. The bulk of the structural steel has already been delivered to site. Ivanhoe Mines is fully-financed to Phase 1 copper production at the Kakula Mine, which is scheduled for Q3 2021, with consolidated cash of approximately US$496 million at the end of June 2020 and no significant debt.
Source: Company Press Release