Excavation of the first mine-access decline at Kamoa is expected to begin early next year. The decline would provide access to the high-grade, near-surface copper resources that would be targeted for the planned first phase of production using the room-and-pillar mining method.
Initial start-up could involve concentrate sales pending construction of smelter
The start-up scenario to be examined in the PEA and Development Study will consider the sale of copper concentrates as an interim measure pending Ivanplats' completion of its planned smelter in the vicinity of the Kamoa Project.
Additional power to develop optimum-sized smelter
In 2011, Ivanplats and DRC's state-owned power company, La Societe Nationale d'Electricite (SNEL), agreed to upgrade two existing hydroelectric power plants, Mwadingusha and Koni, to feed up to 113 megawatts into the national power supply grid. SNEL would provide the Kamoa Project with 100 megawatts from the grid, which would be sufficient to operate the initial mine. In April 2013, SNEL signed a further memorandum of understanding with Ivanplats to upgrade a third hydroelectric power plant - Nzilo 1 - that is projected to provide approximately an additional 100 megawatts to the grid upon its completion, entitling Kamoa to receive another 100 megawatts to be supplied from the grid. A combined total of 200 megawatts from the grid would cover the power requirements of Kamoa's smelter and future mine expansions.
Additional studies are underway to advance the geotechnical, engineering and metallurgical understanding of Kamoa in support of the development study. Stantec Inc., of Arizona, USA, is preparing the mine plan based on the mineral resource estimate contained in the March 2013 Kamoa Technical Report. Four rigs are drilling at Kamoa to obtain additional core for the Phase 5 metallurgical studies to help fine tune the optimal copper recovery process. Further hydrological drilling and testing is scheduled for the first half of 2014 to improve Kamoa's hydrological models.
Metallurgical testwork is ongoing at XPS in Sudbury, Canada. Copper recoveries of 87% have been achieved for hypogene mineralization, which makes up approximately 85% of the mill feed; copper recoveries of 83% have been achieved for supergene mineralization that makes up the remainder of the feed. These results are the best to date, however some work on reagent optimization remains outstanding. Concentrate grades for hypogene mineralization are in the order of 37% copper, with supergene mineralization being approximately 45% copper. Concentrate compositions from the various mineralization types are suitable for smelting.
Drilling during Q2 2013 continued to focus on requirements for the development study, including 12,322 metres of core drilled for geotechnical and condemnation drilling for mine infrastructure (around the Kamoa and Makalu domes); resource infill drilling (Kansoko Sud, Kansoko Centrale and Kamoa Ouest); and completion of the Phase 5 metallurgical program (Intra-Mining Block Variability in Kamoa Sud, Kansoko Nord, Kansoko Centrale, and Kansoko Sud). In the same period, 808 metres were drilled by Land Cruiser rigs conducting exploration in the Kansoko Nord, Makalu Est and Kakula Est areas.
90%-owned by Ivanplats
Platreef development work focused on the Mineral Resources contained in the Flatreef Deposit
The Platreef Project, in South Africa's Limpopo province, is 90%-owned by Ivanplats and 10%-owned by a Japanese consortium of Itochu Corporation; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and JGC Corporation. The Japanese consortium's 10% interest in the Platreef Project was acquired in two tranches for a total investment of $290 million.
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