(Ecofin Agency) - Ivanhoe Mines announced yesterday it has obtained financing from various lenders for a total of $420 million for its Kamoa-Kakula copper project in the DRC.
Part of the funds ($220 million) will be used to purchase underground mining equipment and services from Swedish giants Sandvik AB and Epiroc AB, as well as Finland's Normet Oy. The rest, a credit line allocated by a subsidiary of the Chinese partner Zijin Mining, will be used to finance the extension work of the project in phase 2.
While Ivanhoe is still scheduled to begin production at the Kakula deposit by July 2021, the second phase of the project is designed to double the annual processing capacity of the copper mine to 7.6 million tons. With the new funds obtained, the company plans to accelerate the execution of this module and to have the expanded plant operating at full capacity as early as the third quarter of 2022 (the original target date was 2023).
“We have a very positive outlook for copper prices in the coming years; so we want to ensure that the operation reaches its near-term production capacity as expeditiously as possible, while also maintaining our strong balance sheet,” said Ivanhoe CEO Robert Friedland.
As a reminder, Ivanhoe Mines intends to make the Kamoa-Kakula project the second largest producing copper mine in the world, with an annual delivery of 740,000 tons of copper in its twelfth year of operation.