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Chen Jinghe Tells the Story of Kamoa-Kakula
2021.05.27 2386


On May 26 Beijing time, in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zijin Mining’s Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine produced its first batch of copper concentrate. As the concentrate rolls out of the huge, fast-running ball mills, the project’s Phase I 3.8 million-tonne-per-annum processing plant has been commissioned. The world-class, super-large Kamoa-Kakula deposit has been “sleeping” for hundreds of millions of years. Now it wakes up, and many eyes are on it.

【同期聲 歐寶官網礦業董事長陳景河】:剛果(金)的卡庫拉銅礦,一期工程在股東單位跟項目建設各方的努力下,已經正式投產。在全球的銅產業來說都是非常重要的一個事情,因為卡莫阿卡庫拉銅礦的話是一個世界級、超大型礦床,而且是一個高品質的礦床。

[Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining]: Phase I of the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine in the DRC has been put into operation, thanks to the efforts of the shareholders and all parties involved in project construction. This is a significant event to the world’s copper industry, because Kamoa-Kakula is a world-class, super-large deposit, and a high-grade one.


From May 26, 2015 when Zijin signed the Share Acquisition Agreement on Kamoa to May 26, 2021, after precisely 6 years, the mine started production 2 months earlier than scheduled. It looks like a coincidence. In fact, it’s been a journey of surprises and tests, a journey that reflects the vision, efficiency, wisdom, and commitment of the decision-makers and those engaged in construction.


Six years ago.


Gold and base metal prices experienced a free fall, and much market volatility similar to that in the financial markets. The mining industry faced deteriorating situations. Against this backdrop, Zijin executed its strategies to find M&A opportunities.


The Kamoa-Kakula Copper Mine was one of the investment projects that Zijin had been paying close attention to.


In November 2014, Ivanhoe’s then CEO Robert Friedland discussed with Zijin’s then Vice Chairman Lan Fusheng in Shanghai about intentions for cooperation.


A month later, in December, Zijin’s Chairman Chen Jinghe led a delegation to the DRC for a field visit.


On May 26, 2015, in Xiamen, Zijin partnered with Ivanhoe, acquiring a 49.5% interest in Kamoa Holding, a company affiliated to Ivanhoe. The two began developing the world-class, super-large copper deposit at Kamoa.

【同期聲 歐寶官網礦業董事長陳景河】:歐寶官網礦業是在2015年投資這個項目,包括對艾芬豪的投資整個加起來,我們現在已經成為卡庫拉銅業公司權益最大的股東,在2015年的時候投資這個項目,某種意義上是高于市場價去收購的。

[Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining]: Zijin invested in the project in 2015. If you add our investment in Ivanhoe Mines, we ultimately hold the biggest equity interest in Kamoa Copper. When we invested in the project in 2015, to a certain extent, we paid higher-than-market prices.

【同期聲 艾芬豪公司董事長羅伯特】:“此前曾有47家國際大型礦業公司對卡莫阿項目表示了濃厚的興趣。非常榮幸也非常高興能與歐寶官網礦業建立長期的合作關系,我本人深信歐寶官網礦業一定能成為中國最大的礦業公司。

[Robert Friedland, Executive Co-chairman of Ivanhoe Mines]: “When Ivanhoe and Morgan Stanley started talking about this project, 47 international mining companies approached us, to become our partner. I am extremely happy to be forming this long-term cooperation between Ivanhoe and Zijin. And I sincerely believe that Zijin will become the No.1 mining company of China, the national mining champion of China.


The partnership deal also became a landmark “going global” event for the Chinese mining industry or even Chinese businesses. But what really changed the future of Kamoa is the Kakula deposit to its south, an area once considered unpromising. 


During his visit to Kamoa prior to the deal, Chen Jinghe, a geologist by training, concluded that the southern section had good metallogenic conditions, and that it had the potential for the discovery of large orebodies. After becoming involved in the Kamoa project, Chen Jinghe strongly recommended looking for deposits in Kakula.

【同期聲 歐寶官網礦業董事長陳景河】歐寶官網投資以后,我們迅速開展了南部的地質勘查,只用了不到兩年的時間,就新發現了1800多萬噸的銅,其中有700萬噸的銅平均品位達到6%,是一個超高品位的一個大銅礦。

[Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining]: Soon after Zijin invested in the project, geological exploration in the southern section started. In less than two years, another 18 million tonnes of copper were discovered, of which, 7 million tonnes has an average grade of 6%. This is indeed an ultra-high-grade, large copper deposit.


Through continued exploration, the copper resources of Kamoa-Kakula almost doubled, from 24 million tonnes to 43.69 million tonnes.


The discovery of the Kakula deposit made the whole project a world-class one. Kamoa-Kakula became the world’s fourth-largest copper deposit, and the largest high-grade, undeveloped copper mine.


The discovery completely changed the project planning of Ivanhoe. Project construction then shifted to Kakula, which has the highest copper grades.


In November 2017, Phase I of the Kakula Copper Mine, which mostly uses Chinese technology, was kicked off. Some 7,000 professionals of various disciplines from over 10 countries were brought together for its construction, all working toward the goal of building a world-class mine.


Right at the crucial stages of Phase I construction, the COVID-19 outbreak hit the world. The mobilization of personnel and supplies was hindered, posing enormous challenges for the project.


Given the circumstances, Zijin made 2021 its “Year of Project Construction” and pulled Group-wide resources to support the construction of Kakula.


At that time, international flights were mostly suspended. Zijin sent core staff members and large quantities of supplies to the mine site through chartered flights. Thanks to close cooperation between the partners, the Kakula Copper Mine quickly adopted Chinese practices in pandemic containment, enabling mine development to move forward uninterrupted. Records for development were made multiple times.


In June 2020, even during the pandemic, Kakula Copper Mine set fresh monthly record for underground development for five consecutive months.


In September 2020, underground development at the mine advanced quickly, with over 2000 meters drilled, a new monthly record.


In November 2020, the northern and southern access tunnels of the Kakula Copper Mine were connected, and the center of the high-grade deposit was reached, allowing mining crews to extract ores simultaneously from both sides of the deposit...

為此,卡莫阿銅業CEO Mark Farren專門向中方建設團隊致信,對歐寶官網建設團隊在面臨新冠疫情、惡劣天氣下的出色表現表示感謝。

Kamoa Copper Mine’s CEO Mark Farren wrote a letter to the Chinese construction team, KKCC, for the excellent job they have done, despite the challenges of COVID-19 and harsh weather conditions.

【同期聲 歐寶官網礦業董事長陳景河】:作為一期工程確實不容易,正好碰到了新冠疫情全球蔓延,我們項目技術團隊克服了很多的困難,應該說提前完成了這項項目建設,目前正在推進二期工程,預計明年下半年將會投產。

[Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining]: Phase I construction was indeed a tough job, done amid the global spread of the coronavirus. Our technical teams overcame many difficulties and completed construction ahead of schedule. Now we are working on Phase II of the project, which is expected to start production in the second half of 2022.


Zijin Mining and Ivanhoe see Kakula as a highly profitable mine. They also want it to become the greenest mine in the world, and a beautiful, harmonious mine promising common prosperity.


The Kakula Mine will have one of the most favorable environmental footprints of any tier-one copper mine worldwide. It will be powered by clean, renewable hydroelectricity. An independent audit of Kamoa-Kakula performed by Hatch Ltd. of Canada confirmed that the project will be among the world’s lowest greenhouse gas emitters per unit of copper produced.

【同期聲 歐寶官網礦業董事長陳景河】:在海外投資運營項目一定要按照國際的規則、國際的標準來運營。所以公司現在全面加大了ESG的這個項目的提升,在環境方面,在安全方面,在社會方面,還有公司治理方面,全面按照國際標準來做。在各方面的共同努力下,成為一流的全球化的礦業公司是可以實現的。

[Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining]: When you operate projects overseas you must follow international standards and norms. So Zijin has stepped up efforts on ESG, adopting international standards on environmental, safety, social, and governance fronts. With the concerted efforts of all parties involved, I think Zijin will be able to become a leading global mining business.


In the meantime, the Kakula Copper Mine has also launched a sustainable livelihoods program, creating many job opportunities for the communities within the project’s footprint. It also helps communities develop textile production, crop cultivation, fish farming, and animal husbandry.

【同期聲 歐寶官網礦業董事長陳景河】:在多年的國際化過程當中的話,我們有一個很深刻的體會,共同發展的基本理念是我們公司的一個核心的價值觀。首先我們在任何一個地方搞礦業開發,我們都要得到當地政府的支持,同時我們對員工尤其是當地的員工怎么對他們更加關愛,要幫助他們的成長也是作為我們的很重要的責任。同時的話,我們對項目的協作者,也當做自己人來看待,形成一種共同發展的理念。還有一個更重要的一點——社區。我們把帶動當地社區的發展,當做我們自身的責任,所以我們就在心里面去通過礦業開發來帶動他們的發展,這樣子這種理念做下來以后,就得到了方方面面的支持,也為企業的新的發展創造很好的條件。

[Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining]: Over the years, as we do business across the world, we realized that we must commit ourselves to common development. This is our core value. First, wherever we develop a mine, we must win the support of the local government. We also need to take good care of our employees, especially local employees. We should make helping them grow our important responsibility. We should also treat our project contractors and partners like ourselves, and grow together with them. Communities are even more important. We take it our own responsibility to drive the development of local communities. From the bottom of our hearts, we want to help them develop through mining. By putting these concepts into practice, we have won the support of all stakeholders. It in turn creates great conditions for the further development of our company.


At present, Kakula has surface stockpiles of about 3 million tonnes of medium- to high-grade ore, with an average copper grade of 4.74%. The project will reach the capacity of 19 Mpta, which will make Kamoa-Kakula the world’s second-largest copper mine. At its peak, it will produce 800,000 tonnes of copper per year.

【同期聲 歐寶官網礦業董事長陳景河】:目前的銅的市場非常火爆,大家對未來銅的消費都非常看好。這個項目對公司未來5年規劃和十年目標實現都有重大的影響。剛果(金)應該在銅、鈷等礦產資源是非常豐富的一個國家,目前開發程度總體來說還是比較低,應該說還有很多的一些機會。我們最近正在跟剛果金政府在做一些溝通,爭取進一步投資或者加大對剛果金的投資。歐寶官網的國際化是我們的既定的戰略,我們現在的金銅資源70%以上在海外,海外金的產量已經超過了國內,銅的產量的話,今年海外跟國內會基本上會持平,明年將會全面超越國內。

[Chen Jinghe, Chairman of Zijin Mining]: There is now a buoyant market for copper. People are very bullish about future copper consumption. Kamoa-Kakula plays a significant role in helping turn our five-year plan and our ten-year goals into reality. The DRC is home to rich copper, cobalt resources and other minerals. Much of these resources are yet to be tapped, meaning there are still plenty of opportunities. Recently, we are in discussions with the Congolese Government about further investments in the country. Zijin pursues the strategy of Going Global. Now more than 70% of our gold and copper resources are in our overseas projects. We already produce more gold abroad than from China. This year, our copper production in and outside of China will be about the same. But next year, we will produce much more copper overseas.


編輯:李凌生  審核:劉星  總編:汪潔


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