Tag Archives: Ivanhoe Mines

Pre-sink of Shaft 2 at Ivanhoe’s Platreef underground project months away

In a review of exploration and development activities in 2018, Ivanhoe Mines has gone into some detail on developments at Shaft 2 at the Platreef PGM-nickel-copper-gold project on the northern limb of South Africa’s Bushveld Complex.

This follows a project update issued just after the Mining Indaba event in February.

Shaft 1, expected to reach its final depth of 982 m below surface in early 2020, will ultimately become the primary ventilation shaft during the project’s initial 4 Mt/y production case, but Shaft 2, around 100 m northeast of Shaft 1, will provide primary access to the mining zones.

Ivanhoe said Shaft 2 will have an internal diameter of 10 m, will be lined with concrete and sunk to a planned, final depth of more than 1,104 m below surface.

It will be equipped with two 40-t rock-hoisting skips capable of hoisting a total of 6 Mt/y of ore – the single largest hoisting capacity at any mine in Africa. The headgear for the permanent hoisting facility was designed by South Africa-based Murray & Roberts Cementation.

Ivanhoe said nine blasts were successfully completed in 2018 enabling the excavation of Shaft 2’s box cut to a depth of approximately 29 m below surface and the construction of the concrete hitch (shaft collar foundation) for the 103-m-tall concrete headgear (preparations pictured here) that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar.

Excavation of the box cut and construction of the hitch foundation is expected to be completed in the June quarter, enabling the beginning of the pre-sink, that will extend 84 m below surface, it said.

In July 2017, Ivanhoe, which indirectly owns 64% of the Platreef project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, issued an independent, definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Platreef covering the first phase of production at an initial mining rate of 4 Mt/y. The DFS estimated Platreef’s initial, average annual production rate would be 476,000 oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, plus 21 MIb (9,525 t) of nickel and 13 MIb (5,897 t) of copper.

Ivanplats reports on Platreef PGM-nickel-copper-gold project progress

Following a site visit to the Platreef PGM-nickel-copper-gold asset in South Africa just after this month’s Mining Indaba, Ivanplats has provided an update on progress at the project.

In July 2017, Ivanhoe, which indirectly owns 64% of the Platreef project through its subsidiary, Ivanplats, issued an independent, definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Platreef covering the first phase of production at an initial mining rate of 4 Mt/y. The DFS estimated Platreef’s initial, average annual production rate would be 476,000 oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, plus 21 MIb (9,525 t) of nickel and 13 MIb (5,897 t) of copper.

In the latest update, Ivanplats said good progress continued to be made on Shaft 1’s 850-m-level station. This is the second of three horizontal mining access stations planned for Shaft 1 at Platreef on the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex.

Platreef said: “The first underground mining access station has been constructed at the 750-m level, following earlier development of a water-pumping station at the 450-m level. The third mining access station will be developed at a mine-working depth of 950 m.”

Shaft 1 is expected to reach its projected, final depth of approximately 980 m below surface, complete with all four of the stations, in early 2020, Ivanplats said. The mining zones in the current Platreef mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 m to 1,200 m below surface.

Construction also is underway on the concrete foundation for the project’s main production shaft ─ Shaft 2, according to Ivanplats. “This foundation will support the 103-m-tall concrete headgear (headframe) that will house Shaft 2’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar,” the company said.

Shaft 2 will have an internal diameter of 10 m and will be equipped with two 40-t rock-hoisting skips with a capacity to hoist a total of 6 Mt/y of ore – the single largest hoisting capacity at any mine in Africa, according to Ivanplats.

The South African beneficiaries of the approved broad-based, black economic empowerment structure have a 26% stake in the Platreef project. The remaining 10% is owned by a Japanese consortium of ITOCHU Corp; Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation; and Japan Gas Corp.

DRA Global moves from PFS to basic engineering at Kakula copper project

DRA Global has been awarded the contract for basic engineering services on the Kakula mine portion of the wider Kamoa-Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The contract scope includes the basic engineering and design associated with all underground mining infrastructure, the concentrator plant and all supporting surface infrastructure.

Kamoa Copper SA, a joint venture between Ivanhoe Mines, Zijin Mining Group and the Government of the Democratic Republic of Congo, will develop the new copper mine, which is expected to yield an estimated 6 Mt/y in its first phase alone.

The Kakula deposit has been independently ranked as the world’s largest, undeveloped, high yield, high-grade copper discovery, according to DRA, with a resource measuring 174 Mt at an average grade of 5.62% Cu.

DRA’s project delivery relationship with Ivanhoe Mines started on the high-grade platinum-group metals, nickel and copper Platreef project in South Africa. “It was on this project that DRA demonstrated its experienced capability in project delivery which proved to be a key differentiator for the organisation on Kakula,” DRA said.

DRA was contracted to complete the prefeasibility study (PFS) for Kamoa Copper SA, in 2017. In October 2018, DRA was further awarded the contract to deliver a complete basic engineering package. Work began in October and is estimated to conclude by mid-2019.

In addition to the basic engineering, DRA offers continued support on the early works, which includes equipping the main declines with dewatering and conveyor systems, ventilation shafts and associated surface infrastructure.

Alistair Hodgkinson, DRA Executive Vice President, Projects, said: “The team working on this project has gone above and beyond to meet deadlines and exceed client expectations ultimately to ensure that this signature project starts producing as soon as possible.”

Earlier this month, Ivanhoe Mines revealed the prefeasibility study for an initial 6 Mt/y copper mine at Kakula, in addition to an updated preliminary economic assessment combining both Kakula and Kamoa into an 18 Mt/y operation.

Ivanhoe Kamoa-Kakula studies reveal plan for world’s second largest copper mine

Ivanhoe Mines has released the prefeasibility study for an initial 6 Mt/y copper mine at the Kakula deposit in the Democratic Republic of Congo, in addition to an updated preliminary economic assessment (PEA) combining both Kakula and Kamoa into an 18 Mt/y operation.

The Kakula deposit is in the southerly portion of the Kamoa-Kakula project’s discovery area and would form the first of three deposits to be mined in the 18 Mt/y scenario.

For the 6 Mt/y Kakula option, the PFS envisages an average annual production rate of 291,000 t of copper at a mine-site cash cost of $0.46/ Ib ($1,014/t) of copper and total cash cost of $1.11/lb copper for the first 10 years of operations. Annual copper production would step up to 360,000 t by year four, the company said.

This option came with an initial capital cost of $1.1 billion and would result in an after-tax net present value (8% discount) of $5.4 billion factoring in an average copper price of $3.10/lb.

Ivanhoe said Kakula would benefit from an ultra-high, average feed grade of 6.8% Cu over the first five years of operations, and 5.5% Cu on average over a 25-year mine life.

Basic engineering for the project is already underway and is expected to be completed around mid-year, running in parallel with a definitive feasibility study expected to be completed around year-end, Ivanhoe said.

“Development of twin underground declines has been completed at Kakula, with ongoing underground development activities, including access drives and ventilation raises. In addition, a box cut for a ventilation decline on the southern side of the Kakula orebody is nearing completion,” the company added.

The updated Kamoa-Kakula 2019 PEA presents the alternative development option of a three-phase, sequential operation on Kamoa-Kakula’s copper deposits (pictured below).

Initial production would occur at a rate of 6 Mt/y from the Kakula mine, before increasing to 12 Mt/y with mill feed from the Kansoko mine. A third 6 Mt/y mine would then be developed at Kakula West, bringing the total production rate to 18 Mt/y.

“As resources at Kakula and Kansoko are mined, the PEA envisages that production would begin at several mines in the Kamoa North area to maintain 18 Mt/y throughput over a 37-year mine life,” Ivanhoe said.

For this option, the PEA envisages $1.1 billion in initial capital costs, with future expansion at the Kansoko Mine, Kakula West Mine and subsequent extensions funded by cash flows from the Kakula mine. This resulted in an after-tax NPV (8% discount) of $10 billion using the same long-term copper price of $3.10/Ib.

Under this approach, the PEA also includes the construction of a direct-to-blister flash copper smelter at the Kakula plant site with a capacity of 1 Mt/y of copper concentrate 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, according to the company.

The 18 Mt/y scenario would deliver average annual production of 382,000 t of copper at a total cash cost of $0.93/lb copper during the first 10 years of operations and production of 740,000 t/y by year 12. “At this future production rate, Kamoa-Kakula would rank as the world’s second largest copper mine,” Ivanhoe said.

Robert Friedland, Co-Chairman of Ivanhoe Mines, was at the Mining Indaba event in Cape Town, South Africa to announce these results.

He said: “These studies clearly prove our long-standing conviction that Kamoa-Kakula is firmly on track to become one of the absolute greatest copper mining complexes in the world, helping to restore Katanga’s rightful position as the world’s largest copper producing region. This would not have happened without the extraordinary efforts of the Ivanhoe discovery team and our investment of more than $800 million in exploration and development.

“We now look forward to working with the new government of the DRC and the Congolese people to develop Kamoa-Kakula to its full potential, generating widely shared economic benefits that will help to uplift local communities, and provide skills training to help ensure that young Congolese can qualify for the thousands of meaningful direct and indirect jobs that will be created.”

Ivanhoe Mines’ Platreef Shaft 1 intersects ‘Flatreef’ PGM deposit

Ivanhoe Mines and sinking contractor Aveng Mining have reached a new milestone at its Platreef PGM-nickel-copper-gold project in South Africa with Shaft 1 now at the top of the ‘Flatreef’ deposit, 780 m below surface.

At the Shaft 1 intersection, the flat-to-gently-dipping deposit is an estimated 26 m thick, making it amenable to the sort of bulk-scale mechanised mining most PGM operators would dream of.

This is the first time Platreef, in the Northern Limb of South Africa’s renowned Bushveld complex, has been intercepted by underground mining activity, according to Ivanhoe Mines.

The mining team has now delivered first ore from the underground mine development to a surface stockpile for metallurgical sampling. “The estimated thickness of the mineralised reef (T1 and T2 mineralised zones) at Shaft 1 is 26 m, with grades of platinum-group metals ranging up to 11 g/t 3PE (platinum, palladium and rhodium) plus gold, as well as significant quantities of nickel and copper,” the company said.

The 26 m intersection is expected to yield some 3,000 t of ore, estimated to contain more than 400 oz of PGMs.

The 750 m station on Shaft 1 will provide initial, underground access to the orebody, enabling mine development to proceed during the construction of Shaft 2 – the mine’s main production shaft.

The mining zones in the current Platreef mine plan occur at depths ranging from approximately 700 m to 1,200 m below surface.

Shaft 1’s 750 m station will also allow access for the first raisebore shaft, which will have an internal diameter of 6 m, to provide ventilation to the underground workings during the mine’s ramp-up phase.

As shaft-sinking advances, two additional shaft stations will be developed at mine-working depths of 850 m and 950 m. Shaft 1 is expected to reach its projected, final depth of 980 m below surface, complete with the stations, in early 2020.

Shaft 2

Excavation of the Shaft 2 box cut to a depth of approximately 29 m below surface is progressing well, according to Ivanhoe.

Completion of the box cut will allow for the construction of the concrete hitch (foundation) for the 103 m-tall concrete headframe that will house the shaft’s permanent hoisting facilities and support the shaft collar.

Shaft 2, around 100 m northeast of Shaft 1, will have an internal diameter of 10 m, will be lined with concrete and sunk to a planned, final depth of 1,104 m below surface. It will be equipped with two 40 t rock-hoisting skips with a capacity to hoist a total of 6 Mt/y of ore. This is the single largest hoisting capacity at any mine in Africa, according to Ivanhoe.

Headgear for the permanent hoisting facility was designed by South Africa-based Murray & Roberts Cementation.

In July 2017, Ivanhoe issued an independent, definitive feasibility study (DFS) for Platreef covering the first phase of production at an initial mining rate of 4 Mt/y. The DFS estimated Platreef’s initial, average annual production rate would be 476,000 oz of platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold, plus 21 MIb (9,525 t) of nickel and 13 MIb (5,897 t) of copper.