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Ivanhoe secures US$420M to accelerate Kamoa-Kakula expansion

Ivanhoe Mines says it has secured a US$420 million finance package to help accelerate the phase-two expansion of the giant Kamoa-Kakula copper development in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Ivanhoe secures US$420M to accelerate Kamoa-Kakula expansion Ivanhoe secures US$420M to accelerate Kamoa-Kakula expansion Ivanhoe secures US$420M to accelerate Kamoa-Kakula expansion Ivanhoe secures US$420M to accelerate Kamoa-Kakula expansion Ivanhoe secures US$420M to accelerate Kamoa-Kakula expansion

Ivanhoe Mines has secured a US$420 million finance package to accelerate the phase-two expansion of its Kamoa-Kakula mine in the DRC

Staff Reporter

The package includes $211 million of secured equipment financing and a $9 million downpayment facility to help take processing capacity from 3.8 million tonnes per annum to 7.6Mtpa by the third quarter of 2022, earlier than the initial phase-two production date of Q1 2023.

Ivanhoe, which retains a 39.6% interest in the development, has also secured a $200 million line of credit from equal project partner Zijin Mining, deemed sufficient to cover the cost of a second 3.8Mtpa concentrator required to double capacity.

Ivanhoe said the long-lead items for the second concentrator had been ordered and the second phase of the project's development was officially underway.

The facilities allow the company to draw funds as required to fast track the expansion.

To the end of October, Kamoa-Kakula had accumulated about 1Mt of ore grading circa 3.47% copper in surface stockpiles, supplemented by about 622,000t of low-grade development ore.

With construction said to be more than half complete, the Kamoa-Kakula project remains on track to begin production in July 2021. When copper production starts, Kamoa-Kakula will be the world's highest-grade copper mine at an average head grade of 6.6%.

Using a copper price assumption of $3.10/lb, a recent pre-feasibility study for the phase-two expansion outlined an after-tax net present value, at 8% discount, of $6.6 billion and an internal rate of return of 69% over a 37-year mine life, including payback of 2.5 years.

Ivanhoe shares (TSX:IVN) achieved a new 12-month high on Tuesday at C$6.32 following the release of an updated feasibility study on Monday, accompanied by a preliminary economic assessment for a smaller starter operation at the Platreef PGM-nickel project in South Africa. Shares are up about 73% over the past 12 months giving the company a market value of $7.3 billion (US$5.64 billion).