Ivanhoe has unveiled a string of executive appointments to lead the development and operation of the Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the Democratic Republic of Congo and said the related transaction was a share rebalancing exercise that proved a high level of trust and strategic cooperation between the project partners Ivanhoe, CITIC Metal Africa and Zijin.
CITIC Metal and Ivanhoe executive chairman Robert Friedland have agreed to sell 35.75 million shares or 3% and 12.9-million shares or 1.08% of their respective shareholdings to Zijin in a private placement.
After closing, CITIC Metal will own about 26.4% of Ivanhoe's issued and outstanding shares, Friedland about 13.2% and Zijin 13.88%.
"This rebalancing share purchase and sale agreement once again proves the high level of trust and strategic cooperation between Ivanhoe Mines, CITIC Metal and Zijin Mining," said Friedland.
Ivanhoe has installed former Ivanhoe executive VP of operations Mark Farren as CEO of its Kamoa-Kakula copper joint venture and Zijin employee Dr Yong Chen has been appointed as COO.
The senior management team entails Congolese nationals Ben Munanga, as head of energy; Teddy Kabongo as head of tax; and Dr Guy Muswil as head of sustainability.
Ivanhoe's Rochelle de Villiers and Zijin's David Li have been appointed co-CFOs.
Meanwhile, mining veteran Warwick Morley-Jepson has been appointed Ivanhoe's new COO to assume the duties formerly held by Farren.
He will be responsible for overseeing the technical and development initiatives that Ivanhoe is pursuing at the Kipushi project, also in the DRC and the Platreef PGM project in South Africa. Morley will also be a key member of the Ivanhoe team working with Zijin to oversee the development of the Kamoa-Kakula project.
Further, to enhance Ivanhoe's development and operating capabilities, its DRC country manager Louis Watum has been appointed president of the Kamoa Copper board, the DRC operating company of the JV between Ivanhoe, Zijin Mining Group, Crystal River and the DRC government that is developing the Kamoa-Kakula project. Watum's expanded role will include assisting with the JV's infrastructure development.
Initial copper concentrate production from the Kakula mine, the first of at least three mines planned at Kamoa-Kakula, is scheduled for the third quarter of 2021.