MMG Ltd has announced progress with two major expansions at its mining operations – first off it has approved extending the life of its Kinsevere copper operation in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) for at least 13 years; while in Peru, the Ministry of Energy and Mines has released the regulatory approval for the development of the Chalcobamba pit and associated infrastructure.
The Kinsevere Expansion Project was approved by the Board of Directors and will mine and process the copper sulphide and cobalt resource at the Kinsevere mine. MMG CEO Liangang Li said the project demonstrates the Company’s commitment to investing in Africa and to securing a strong future for the Kinsevere asset. “We are committed to growing our presence in Africa and following today’s comittment, we are excited to start our next phase of growth in this highly prospective region. The project adds a significant amount of cobalt production to our portfolio, at a time when demand from electric vehicles and energy storage systems will accelerate and we transition towards a low carbon future.”
In addition to extending the life of the Kinsevere mine by at least 13 years from 2022, once fully ramped up, the Kinsevere Expansion Project will bring the annual production of copper cathode up to 80,000 t and 4,000-6,000 t of cobalt in cobalt hydroxide. Construction will commence in 2022 with first cobalt production expected in 2023. First copper cathode production from the sulphide orebody is expected in 2024 with the mine to continue production of copper cathode from the remaining oxide orebody during the construction phase.
This project will mine and process the copper sulphide and cobalt resource located at the Kinsevere mine and includes the installation of new facilities and associated processing methodology involving a new flotation plant, roaster system and cobalt processing circuit into which the existing SX-EW plant will be integrated. Total capital expenditure for the project is expected to range between US$550-$600 million and will be funded through a combination of available cash reserves and debt facilities. The Board has authorised MMG Kinsevere SARL to enter into certain major contracts including for the construction of plant, development of infrastructure and purchase of equipment to progress the Kinsevere Expansion Project.
“Securing the future of Kinsevere will importantly allow us to continue our contribution to nearby communities as well as providing employment and development opportunities for our many valued MMG team members in the DRC,” Li said. “As a first mover in copper production from sulphide ores in the DRC, we are excited about the opportunities.”
As a result of the completion of the Feasibility Study and Board approval of the Kinsevere Expansion Project, MMG has also released an updated Mineral Resource and Ore Reserves for Kinsevere to the Hong Kong Stock Exchange. The key changes are that Kinsevere’s copper Ore Reserves (contained metal) have increased by 600%, (and approximately 33 Mt of ore) and adding cobalt ore Reserves of approximately 29,000 t (contained metal).
In Peru, the Chalcobamba pit is located approximately 4 km northwest from the Las Bambas process plant near the community of Huancuire. The operation will be developed by open pit mining with associated waste dumps, to be commissioned progressively over the next five months. Ore will be transported by haul truck for approximately 13 km downhill to the existing crushing and conveying plant located near the Ferrobamba pit. The development of the Chalcobamba deposit is expected to underpin a production increase at Las Bambas to around 380,000 to 400,000 t of copper in concentrate per annum for the medium term. Las Bambas stated it “looks forward to working together with the community of Huancuire to begin development in coming months, with first production from Chalcobamba expected during the second half 2022. Production guidance for 2022 remains unchanged.”