Tag Archives: Zijin Mining

More SEW-EURODRIVE X.e-series power packs on their way to Kamoa-Kakula

With well over 100 units already delivered, SEW-EURODRIVE in South Africa is set to continue supplying Ivanhoe Mines’ Kamoa-Kakula copper complex in the Democratic Republic of Congo, a joint venture with Zijin Mining of China, with a wide range of its X.e-series power packs, the company says.

According to Willem Strydom, Business Development at SEW-EURODRIVE, the power packs – which are integrated units comprising gearbox, coupling and motor – will be part of Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 3 expansion. Since the mine’s first phase of development over five years ago, SEW-EURODRIVE has worked closely with both Ivanhoe and the engineering, procurement and construction contractor.

“As in previous phases of the mine’s development, our robust high quality power packs will provide reliable solutions in on-site applications such as conveyors, agitators and slurry pumps,” Strydom says. “The size range in the order makes use of our wide capability range to provide a total solution, ranging from 55 kW units to 500 kW units.”

The latest order includes several X.e series power packs for conveyor applications, planetary gearboxes for feeder applications and spare gearboxes. The equipment will be delivered in staggered shipments this year. While the mine typically undertakes the installation of the equipment, SEW-EURODRIVE sends technical teams to site to check final alignment and overall installation parameters.

The company has expanded its after-sales service teams considerably in recent years, allowing it to support the growing base of equipment throughout Africa. Its projects and engineering teams have also grown – developing a depth of experience to assist customers right from design phase onwards.

Strydom notes that SEW-EURODRIVE has significantly developed its infrastructural foundation in South Africa, and plans to develop a physical representation in over 23 other African countries. As a priority country for the company’s strategy, there is expected to be a representative in place in the DRC in 2023, he explains. Field service teams from South Africa are frequently at Kamoa-Kakula to assist with servicing of the existing power packs operating on the site.

“Our local assembly capability in our new facility in Johannesburg – combined with our ability to source from the group’s other global operations – has allowed us to meet the tight delivery deadlines for this substantial order of equipment,” he says. “Our global footprint and production capacity mean that we can deliver faster than most players in our field, and this is often an important factor for our market.”

While the company previously imported the larger X.e Industrial gearboxes from Germany, it is now able to assemble these in the new South African facilities. As part of its service, SEW-EURODRIVE will also handle the logistics of getting this large volume of equipment to site. The company’s training centre – the Drive Academy – in Johannesburg has also made a valuable contribution by providing training on the equipment and its maintenance, it says.

In this project, the tropical climate was another important factor in the customer’s design requirements. This required the inclusion of certain cooling and paint specifications in the contract.

SEW-EURODRIVE Head of Engineering, Andreas Meid, explains that special breathers were part of the design in response to high humidity levels – and served to ensure no moisture in the gearboxes. In outdoor applications where sun exposure was high, covers were also included to reduce heat build-up. Cooling fans were also optimised in certain cases to ensure optimal performance.

He highlights that Kamoa-Kakula is one of many projects in Africa to request the installation of monitoring equipment on the power packs. This facilitates real-time monitoring, using specialised sensors to measure key indicators like vibration and temperature from anywhere in the world.

“This allows the operation to monitor the equipment remotely, receiving early warnings of any issues in performance,” Meid says. “Responding timeously to this information can prevent serious damage and avoid unplanned downtime.”

As a preferred supplier, SEW-EURODRIVE first delivered a multitude of X.e Series power packs between 2019 and 2021 for the mine’s initial development phase.

For Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 2 expansion, which doubled the concentrator plant capacity, SEW-EURODRIVE supplied many standard X.e series power packs for the conveyors as well as planetary gearboxes for the feeders.

Metso boosts comminution power at Zijin Mining’s Julong copper concentrator

Metso says it has been awarded an order for key concentrator plant equipment by Zijin Mining Group for its Julong copper project in the Tibetan Autonomous region.

The value of the order is approximately €85 million ($93 million).

The comminution circuit will be one of the highest powered in China, including a Superior™ MKIII primary gyratory crusher, a geared Premier™ SAG mill and gearless mill drive (GMD) Premier ball mill with 24 MW of installed power, as well as four Nordberg® HP900™ cone crushers, Metso says.

To ensure efficient and sustainable concentrate separation, Metso will deliver 24 TankCell® TC630 flotation cells, five HRT Hight Rate Thickeners, and two Larox® FFP2512 filters. Thanks to their superior energy- and water-efficiency, most of the equipment are part of Metso’s Planet Positive offering, the company added.

Xun Fang, Head of Metso’s Minerals Sales in Greater China, said: “We are very pleased to have been chosen as the partner to deliver the concentrator plant equipment for this ambitious project. The Julong copper mine is located on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau at an altitude of 5,300 m, one of the highest mining sites in the world. The elevation of the plant places tough requirements for the equipment. This is one of the reasons Zijin Mining chose Metso, as our technology is known for its sustainability, reliability and high performance. The delivery includes a GMD ball mill, the first GMD mill to be delivered to China and the most powerful ball mill ever made. TankCells and High Rate Thickeners to be delivered are high-capacity equipment, reducing embedded carbon and increasing overall plant availability. Two of the thickeners are for tailings and are 100 meters in diameter. In addition, our local service capability is highly appreciated by the customer.”

Doppelmayr ropeway tackles mine backfill task at Buriticá gold operation

A Doppelmayr ropeway is now up and running at the Buriticá underground gold mine in northwest Colombia, navigating mountainous terrain to transport backfill material from the bottom of the valley to the mouth of the mine.

In October 2017, Austria-based Doppelmayr was awarded the contract to build a 1.4 km long ropeway with material buckets for a transport capacity of 175 t/h. The system was conceived as a continuous bi-cable ropeway, with a fixed tensioned track rope for the material buckets with their carriage to travel on. The buckets are driven by the continuously moving haul rope loop to which they are attached via detachable grips.

The area where the mine, owned by Zijin Mining, is located is mountainous and therefore logistically challenging. The reusable residues of the gold extraction process are used as underground backfill, which is why they must be taken from the bottom of the valley to the mouth of the mine at 1,700 m above sea level, thereby covering a difference in altitude of approximately 646 m. What would be an arduous and long journey for trucks, with plenty of exhaust emissions, becomes a swift and efficient job if a material ropeway is used, Doppelmayr says.

To allow for the haul rope to be run at a constant speed, the buckets are detached from the loop in the stations and slowed down before they are loaded via a chute. Once a bucket has been filled, it is accelerated to running speed again and re-attached to the haul rope before leaving the station.

In the unloading station, the bucket is once more taken off the haul rope. At the designated unloading point a special mechanism unlocks the latch on the bucket, the bucket is tipped, and the material is safely transferred onto another chute. The bucket then returns to its original position. It is locked again and re-attached to the haul rope before travelling back into the valley empty.

In the past, continuous bi-cable ropeways have often been used for material transport applications, the company explained.

“For the Buriticá project, Doppelmayr’s engineers have revised the design and mechanics of continuous bi-cable ropeways from scratch and optimised it for the transport of material in buckets,” it said. “The system complements Doppelmayr’s portfolio of material transport solutions.”

Put into service in February 2021, the solution has a transport capacity of 175 t/h of gold residues, a running speed of 6 m/s, and comes with 20 carriers and one tower.

Latest Kamoa-Kakula copper studies reaffirm project’s world-class status

The latest economic studies on Ivanhoe Mines and Zijin Mining Group’s majority-owned Kamoa-Kakula project in the Democratic Republic of Congo have indicated the asset could become the world’s second largest copper mining complex.

First production at Kamoa-Kakula is less than a year away, but the project partners have continued with a series of economic studies that emphasise the world-class nature of the orebodies within their control.

The headline maker is the results of a preliminary economic assessment that has evaluated an integrated, multi-staged development to achieve a 19 Mt/y production rate at the mine, with peak annual copper production of more than 800,000 t.

At the same time, a prefeasibility study (PFS) has been carried out to look at mining 1.6 Mt/y from the Kansoko mine, in addition to 6 Mt/y already planned to be mined from Kakula, to fill a 7.6 Mt/y processing plant at Kakula.

A definitive feasibility study (DFS) has also evaluated the stage-one, 6 Mt/y plan at Kakula, which is currently being constructed and is less than a year away from producing first copper, according to Ivanhoe Co-Chair, Robert Friedland.

While the operation looks to have the scale of a world-class asset, it will also have top ranking ‘green’ credentials, according to Friedland.

“The Kakula mine has been designed to produce the world’s most environmentally-responsible copper, which is crucial for today’s new generation of environmentally- and socially-focused investors,” he said.

“Zijin shares our commitment to build the new mines at Kamoa-Kakula to industry-leading standards in terms of resource efficiency, water and energy usage, and minimising emissions. We are blessed with ultra-high copper grades in thick, shallow and flat-lying orebodies – allowing for large-scale, highly-productive, mechanised underground mining operations; and access to abundant clean, sustainable hydro electricity to power our mines – providing us with a distinct advantage in our goal to become the world’s ‘greenest’ copper miner and be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced.”

The project recently retained Hatch of Mississauga, Canada, to independently audit the greenhouse gas intensity metrics for the copper that will be produced at Kamoa-Kakula.

The Kamoa-Kakula Integrated Development Plan (IDP) 2020, as the companies refer to it, builds on the results of the previous studies announced in February 2019.

DFS to 6 Mt/y

The new DFS incorporates the advancement of development and construction activities to date, and has once again confirmed the outstanding economics of the first phase Kakula Mine, Ivanhoe said.

It evaluates the development of a stage one, 6 Mtpa underground mine and surface processing complex at the Kakula deposit with a capacity of 7.6 Mt/y, built in two modules of 3.8 Mt/y, with the first already under advanced construction (see photo). It comes with an internal rate of return of 77% and project payback period of 2.3 years.

The first module of 3.8 Mt/y commences production in the September quarter of 2021, and the second in the March quarter of 2023. The life-of-mine production scenario provides for 110 Mt to be mined at an average grade of 5.22% Cu, producing 8.5 Mt of high-grade copper concentrate.

The Kakula 2020 DFS mine access is via twin declines on the north side and a single decline on the south side of the deposit. One of the north declines will serve as the primary mine access, while the other decline is for the conveyor haulage system, which was recently commissioned.

The primary ore handling system will include a perimeter conveyor system connected to truck load-out points along the north side of the deposit. The perimeter conveyor system will terminate at the main conveyor decline.

The mining method for the Kakula deposit is primarily drift-and-fill using paste backfill (around 99%); with the exception of a room-and-pillar area close to the north declines, which will be mined in the early years of production. The paste backfill system will use a paste plant located on surface connected to a distribution system that includes a surface pipe network connected to bore holes located at each connection drive on the north side of the orebody, the company says.

The Kakula concentrator design incorporates a run-of-mine stockpile, followed by primary cone crushers operating in closed circuit with vibrating screens to produce 100% passing 50 mm material that is stockpiled.

At the end of August, the project’s pre-production surface ore stockpiles totalled an estimated 671,000 t grading 3.36% Cu, including 116,000 t of high-grade ore grading 6.08% Cu.

The crushed ore is fed to the high pressure grinding rolls operating in closed circuit with wet screening, at a product size of 80% (P80) passing 4.5 mm, which is gravity fed to the milling circuit.

The milling circuit incorporates two stages of ball milling in series in closed circuit with cyclone clusters for further size reduction and classification to a target grind size of 80% passing 53 micrometres (µm).

The milled slurry is pumped to the rougher and scavenger flotation circuit where the high-grade, or fast-floating rougher concentrate, and medium-grade, or slow-floating scavenger concentrate, are separated for further upgrading. The rougher concentrate is upgraded in the low entrainment high-grade cleaner stage to produce a high-grade concentrate.

The medium-grade or scavenger concentrate together with the tailings from the high-grade cleaner stage and the recycled scavenger recleaner tailings are combined and further upgraded in the scavenger cleaner circuit. The concentrate produced from the scavenger cleaner circuit, representing roughly 12% of the mill feed, is re-ground to a P80 of 10 µm prior to final cleaning in the low entrainment scavenger recleaner stage.

The scavenger recleaner concentrate is then combined with the high-grade cleaner concentrate to form final concentrate. The final concentrate is then thickened and pumped to the concentrate filter. Final filtered concentrate is then bagged for shipment to market.

The scavenger tailings and scavenger cleaner tailings are combined and thickened prior to being pumped to the backfill plant and/or to the tailings storage facility. Backfill will use approximately half of the tailings, with the remaining amount pumped to the tailings storage facility.

Based on extensive test work, the concentrator is expected to achieve an overall recovery of 85%, producing a very high-grade concentrate grading 57% copper. Kakula also benefits from having very low deleterious elements, including arsenic levels of 0.02%.

7.6 Mt/y PFS

The PFS evaluating mining 1.6 Mt/y from the Kansoko mine envisages an average annual production rate of 331,000 t of copper at a total cash cost of $1.23/lb copper for the first 10 years of operations, and annual copper production of up to 427,000 t by year four. This comes with an internal rate of return of 69% and project payback period of 2.5 years, according to Ivanhoe.

Development would see Kakula-Kansoko benefit from an ultra-high, average feed grade of 6.2% Cu over the first five years of operations, and 4.5% Cu on average over a 37-year mine life.

There are currently two mining crews at Kansoko, in addition to the 10 mining crews (three owner crews and seven contractor crews) currently at Kakula, with the ability to increase this number to fast-track the development of Kansoko, Ivanhoe said.

19 Mt/y option

The Kamoa-Kakula 2020 PEA presents initial production from Kakula at a rate of 6 Mt/y, followed by subsequent, separate underground mining operations at the nearby Kansoko, Kakula West and Kamoa North mines, along with the construction of a 1 Mt/y of concentrate direct-to-blister smelter. The smelter section of the study saw China Nerin Engineering act as the main engineering consultant with Outotec providing design and costing for propriety equipment.

The Kamoa North Area comprises five separate mines that will be developed as resources are mined out elsewhere to maintain the production rate at up to 19 Mt/y, with an overall life in excess of 40 years, Ivanhoe says.

For this integrated 19 Mt/y option, the PEA envisages $700 million in remaining initial capital costs, with future expansion at Kansoko, Kakula West and Kamoa North funded by cash flows from the Kakula mine, resulting in an internal rate of return of 56.2% and a payback period of 3.6 years.

This shows the potential for average annual production of 501,000 t of copper at a total cash cost of $1.07/lb copper during the first 10 years of operations and production of 805,000 t/y of copper by year eight, Ivanhoe said.

“At this future production rate, Kamoa-Kakula would rank as the world’s second largest copper mine,” the company said.

FLSmidth to help modernise crushing, grinding circuit at Zijin’s Serbia copper op

Zijin Mining Group has chosen an FLSmidth gyratory crusher, SAG mill and ball mill for the Majdanpek mine, part of the Chinese mining company’s majority owned Zijin Bor copper mine, in Serbia.

The delivery of the equipment to Majdanpek, 180 km from Belgrade, is expected to occur between 12 and 18 months from now, with the project estimated to reach completion by the end of 2020. The order has a combined value of around DKK200 million ($30 million), according to FLSmidth, and has been recognised in the order intake for the September quarter.

The order of the new FLSmidth crushing and grinding circuit for the front end of the concentrator comes as Zijin looks to modernise Majdanpek, which will be the largest of its three Serbian copper concentrators, FLSmidth said.

Acquired as part of the majority acquisition of Bor in late 2018, the Majdanpek mine uses open-pit mining and flotation to produce copper concentrates, with a designed mining and processing scale of 10 Mt/y, according to Zijin. The operation is currently at a scale of 6 Mt/y, it said.

In the next six years, the company says it plans to invest more than $1 billion in the upgrading, expansion, or construction of the four mines and smelter at Bor. After the completion of the first phase of the project, it is estimated output will go to 82,000 t/y of copper in concentrates, with the smelter producing 80,000 t/y of copper cathode. After the completion of phase two, this could go to 120,000 t/y of concentrate and 150,000 t/y of cathode.

Manfred Schaffer, President of Mining and Group Executive Vice President at FLSmidth, said: “This extensive order underlines the strong value proposition of FLSmidth to our customers in the copper industry. Our market leading crushers and mills will provide significant improvements for Zijin Mining in terms of productivity and processing efficiency.”

Ivanhoe’s Kakula copper mine takes shape in the DRC

Development is speeding up at Ivanhoe Mines’ majority-owned Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo, with the first access drives approaching Kakula’s initial high-grade ore and earthworks for the surface processing plant having now commenced, the Toronto listed company says.

Mining OEMs will be getting excited too, with tenders for long-lead mining and processing equipment now issued and orders expected to be placed shortly, Ivanhoe said.

In February, Ivanhoe unveiled a prefeasibility study for a 6 Mt/y mine at Kakula, which envisaged 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 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. In addition to this, the company unveiled an updated preliminary economic assessment combining both Kakula and Kamoa into an 18 Mt/y operation.

Shortly after this, various stakeholders advanced money for the project, getting Ivanhoe, as the operator, and Zijn Mining, as a partner, to the point where they were both able to fully fund their share of capital costs required to bring the mine into commercial production.

In the latest update on the project, Ivanhoe said “excellent progress” was being made on the construction of the 6 Mt/y Kakula copper mine. Initial copper concentrate production from the Kakula mine currently is scheduled for the September quarter of 2021, with the initial, five-year, detailed mine design now finalised and production scheduling in progress.

The full, detailed mine design will be included in the independent definitive feasibility study that is expected to be published early next year.

Approximately 2,500 employees and contractors now are working at the project as Ivanhoe advances construction of the project’s initial mine at the Kakula deposit.

A total of 647 m of underground development was completed last month, some 100 m more than achieved in April. Lower-grade development ore is being stockpiled on surface near the site of the concentrator plant, which will be used for plant commissioning.

“Mine access drives 1 and 2 (interconnected, parallel tunnels that will provide access to ore zones) are approximately 200 m from Kakula’s initial high-grade mining area, and these priority drives are expected to intersect the higher-grade ore in late July or early August this year,” Ivanhoe said.

The underground development work at Kakula is being performed by mining crews operating large-capacity, semi-autonomous mining equipment, such as jumbo drilling rigs and 50-t trucks (shown above).

The Kakula mine access is via twin declines on the northern side (which have been completed) and a single decline on the south side of the deposit (under development). One of the northern declines will be the mine’s primary access way, while the other will be for the ore conveyor haulage system. The southern ventilation decline will serve as a secondary access and will facilitate the acceleration of critical, early mine development.

From the bottom of the northern and southern declines, a pair of perimeter drifts will be driven to the east and west extremities of the deposit and will serve as the primary accesses to the production areas. These drifts also will be used as the primary intake and exhaust ventilation circuits and will connect with the intake and exhaust ventilation shafts. Underground access to the first raise bore ventilation shaft has been reached, Ivanhoe said. The pilot hole for the 177-m raise bore has been completed, and reaming of the 5.5-m diameter ventilation shaft is expected to be completed next month, according to the company.

The primary ore handling system will include perimeter conveyor drifts and load-out points along the north side of the deposit. The perimeter conveyor drifts will terminate at the main conveyor decline. Connection drifts between the north and south perimeter drifts will provide access and ventilation to the planned mining areas.

Around 99% of the deposit will be mined using the drift-and-fill method, which was chosen to maximise the overall extraction of Kakula ore, Ivanhoe said.

The tailings will flow through a series of cyclones at the backfill plant, and approximately 55% of the tailings will be sent back underground into the mined-out workings as paste backfill. The remaining 45% of the tailings will be pumped to a small tailings storage facility that is being designed by a team of international engineers to meet global best practices for safety, Ivanhoe said.

“The detailed design for the truck-tipping area, where underground ore will feed onto the conveyor system for transportation to surface, and the conveyor system for the main declines, has been completed and component manufacture is underway,” the company added.

Three underground mining crews are working at Kakula. Once Ventilation Shaft 1 is completed and fans have been installed, an additional three crews will be mobilised to accelerate mine development, which is scheduled for October 2019.

Development of an additional access and ventilation decline on the southern side of the Kakula orebody is progressing well and has advanced more than 200 m, Ivanhoe noted. A surface piling rig machine has been mobilised to prepare for the raise bore civil construction for Ventilation Shaft 2.

The DRA Global detailed engineering work on the project includes the engineering and design associated with all underground mining infrastructure, the concentrator plant and all supporting surface infrastructure. This engineering work is running in parallel with an independent definitive feasibility study that is expected to be completed early next year.

“An agreed, detailed budget, and construction and implementation plan is being finalised with Ivanhoe’s joint-venture partner Zijin Mining,” Ivanhoe said. “The project also will be further optimised and adjusted based on the development progress of the project and on the results of the definitive feasibility study.”

On May 22, the project’s construction team commenced breaking ground for the surface processing plant, marking the start of the concentrator construction. The Kakula concentrator will be constructed in a phased approach with two 3 Mt/y modules, as the mining operations ramp up to a full ore-throughput rate of 6 Mt/y. Kakula is expected to produce a very-high-grade copper concentrate in excess of 55% copper, with extremely low arsenic levels, according to Ivanhoe.

The processing plant flow diagrams, process control descriptions, and processing equipment lists have been completed and piping and instrumentation diagrams are being finalised, the company noted. “Tenders for long-lead items such as cone crushers, ball mills, thickeners, high-pressure grinding rolls, flotation cells, regrind mills, concentrate filter and low entrainment flotation cells, have been issued to the market and bids have been received. The Kamoa-Kakula project team in conjunction with DRA is in the process of adjudicating the tenders. Orders are expected to be placed shortly.”

In addition, the tender for the plant civil works has been issued. All bids have been received and are under adjudication. Tenders for smaller equipment for the processing plant such as agitators and samplers have been issued to the market.

Earlier this month, the Kamoa-Kakula project achieved a total of more than 14.5 million work hours free of lost-time injuries – it has been approximately seven years since the last lost-time injury occurred at the project. “This outstanding achievement reflects the dedication to a safety-focused culture of the entire Kamoa-Kakula exploration and development teams,” Ivanhoe said.

Ivanhoe also provided an update on the upgrading work at the Mwadingusha hydropower plant, which it said was progressing well. This project is important to the Kamoa-Kakula project as it is providing clean hydro-electricity to the site from the national grid.

“Construction activities at the Mwadingusha hydropower station are progressing well and Ivanhoe expects that the full upgrading and modernisation of the hydropower plant and its six generators to be completed in late 2020,” Ivanhoe said. “This upgrading work is pursuant to an agreement with the DRC’s state-owned power company, La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL), and is in exchange for a guaranteed 100 MW of electricity – more than enough power for the Kakula mine. The Kamoa-Kakula project has been receiving hydroelectric-generated power from the national grid since late 2016.”

“This installation of modern power generating equipment at Mwadingusha is an important step in helping to secure long-term, sustainable and clean electricity for the Congolese people and for the development of the Kakula mine.”

The upgrading work at Mwadingusha is being conducted by engineering firm Stucky of Lausanne, Switzerland, under the direction of Ivanhoe and Zijin Mining, in conjunction with SNEL.

Work is underway on a 220-kV electrical substation at the Kakula mine that will allow the mine and processing plant to be fully powered from the national power grid. Two new Sumec generators also have been installed at Kakula to provide power to the mine in the event of any power interruptions in the national grid.

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.