DRC

Kipushi Project

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Categories

Overview

Mine TypeUnderground
StageConstruction
Commodities
  • Zinc
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Silver
  • Cobalt
  • Germanium
Mining Method
  • Sub-level open stoping (SLOS)
  • Pillar mining
Backfill type ... Lock
Production Start... Lock
Mine Life... Lock
ShapshotKipushi Project is the world’s highest-grade major zink project.

Underground development ahead of schedule; 1,526 meters of development completed year to 09/2023, over 20% more than planned. Stoping of the ultra-high-grade Big Zinc orebody to commence ahead of schedule in January 2024.

Owners

SourceSource
CompanyInterestOwnership
Gécamines S.A 32 % Indirect
Ivanhoe Mines Ltd. 68 % Indirect
Ivanhoe and Gécamines respectively own 68% and 32% of the Kipushi Project through Kipushi Corporation SA (KICO), the mining rights holder of the Kipushi Project.

Contractors

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Deposit type

  • Replacement
  • Carbonate hosted
  • Vein / narrow vein

Summary:

The mineral deposits at Kipushi are an example of carbonate-hosted copper-zinc-lead mineralisation hosted in pipe-like replacement and tabular zones. This deposit type tends to form irregular, discordant mineralised bodies within carbonate or calcareous sediments, forming massive pods, breccia/fault-like fillings and stockworks (Trueman, 1998). They often form pipe-like to tabular deposits strongly elongate in one direction. Zinc-lead rich zones can project from the main zone of mineralisation as replacement bodies parallel to bedding, as is the case at Kipushi.

This deposit type is associated with intracratonic platform and rifted continental margin sedimentary sequences which are typically folded and locally faulted (Cox and Bernstein, 1986). The host carbonate sediments were deposited in shallow marine, inter-tidal, salt flat, lagoonal or lacustrine environments and are often overlain unconformably by oxidised sandstone-siltstone-shale units. The largest deposits are Neoproterozoic in age and occur within thick sedimentary sequences.

The Katanga Supergroup hosts a number of epigenetic zinc-copper-lead deposits developed within deformed platform carbonate sequences. While many of these are relatively small (e.g. Kengere and Lombe in the DRC; Bob Zinc, Lukusashi, Millberg, Mufukushi, Sebembere, and Star Zinc in Zambia), Kipushi and Kabwe in the DRC and Zambia respectively represent world class deposits with predominantly massive sulphide mineralisation contained within dolomitic limestone (Kampunzu, et al., 2009). These deposits are polymetallic with a typical Zn-Pb-Cu-Ag-Cd-V association and contain variable concentrations of As, Co, Mo, Rh, Ge, and Ga.

Mineralisation at Kipushi is spatially associated with the intersection of Nguba Group stratigraphy with the Kipushi Fault and occurs in several distinct settings:
• Kipushi Fault Zone (copper, zinc, and mixed copper-zinc mineralisation both as massive sulphides and as veins);
• Série Récurrente:
- Disseminated to veinlet-style copper sulphide mineralisation);
- A high-grade pod (massive copper and zinc sulphides);
• Copper Nord Riche (mainly copper but also mixed copper-zinc sulphide mineralisation, both massive and vein-style);
• Big Zinc (massive zinc sulphide with local copper sulphide mineralisation), and
• Southern Zinc (poly-metallic massive sulphide) mineralisation and replacement.

Mineralisation at the Kipushi Project is generally copper-dominant or zinc-dominant with minor areas of mixed copper-zinc mineralisation. Pyrite is present in some peripheral zones and forms massive lenses, particularly in the Fault Zone. Copper-dominant mineralisation in the form of chalcopyrite, bornite, and tennantite is characteristically associated with dolomitic shales both within the Fault Zone and extending eastwards along, and parallel to, bedding planes within the Série Récurrente and adjacent Upper Kakontwe Formations.

Zinc-dominant mineralisation in the Kakontwe formations occurs as massive, irregular, discordant pipe-like bodies completely replacing the dolomite host. These bodies exhibit a steep southerly plunge from the Fault Zone and Série Récurrente contacts where they begin, to their terminations at depth within the Kakontwe Formation. This southerly orientation, observed across all the mineralised zones, is oblique to the north-west plunging intersection of the Kakontwe Formations with the Fault Zone, inferring a persistent structural control at the Kipushi deposit.

Reserves

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Mining Methods

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Comminution

Crushers and Mills

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Processing

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Production

CommodityProductUnitsAvg. AnnualLOM
Zinc Concentrate kt 4376,013
Zinc Metal in concentrate M lbs 5297,263

Operational metrics

Metrics
Annual ore mining rate  ....  Subscribe
Annual processing capacity  ....  Subscribe
Annual processing rate  ....  Subscribe
Waste tonnes, LOM  ....  Subscribe
Ore tonnes mined, LOM  ....  Subscribe
Total tonnes mined, LOM  ....  Subscribe
Tonnes processed, LOM  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Production Costs

CommodityUnitsAverage
Site cash costs (produced) Zinc USD  ....  Subscribe
C1 cash costs Zinc USD  ....  Subscribe
Assumed price Zinc USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study / presentation.

Operating Costs

Currency2022
UG mining costs ($/t milled) USD 59 *  
Processing costs ($/t milled) USD  ....  Subscribe
G&A ($/t milled) USD  ....  Subscribe
Total operating costs ($/t milled) USD  ....  Subscribe
* According to 2022 study.

Project Costs

MetricsUnitsLOM Total
Pre-Production capital costs $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Sustaining CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Closure costs $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Total CapEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
UG OpEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Processing OpEx $M USD 248
Refining costs $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Transportation (haulage) costs $M USD 1,757
G&A costs $M USD 201
Total OpEx $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Royalty payments $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Gross revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Net revenue (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Operating margin, %  ......  Subscribe
Operating margin (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax Cash Flow (LOM) $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 5% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 10% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
Pre-tax NPV @ 8% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 5% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 10% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
After-tax NPV @ 8% $M USD  ......  Subscribe
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Pre-tax payback period, years  ......  Subscribe
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Heavy Mobile Equipment

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Personnel

Mine Management

Job TitleNameProfileRef. Date
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Feb 14, 2022
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Feb 14, 2022
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 30, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 30, 2023
....................... Subscription required ....................... Subscription required Subscription required Sep 30, 2023

Aerial view:

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