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Canadian mining company Ivanhoe Mines, which has base and precious metals operations in Africa, has appointed Mark Farren as COO, effective November 1, and Steve Amos as as EVP of projects, effective immediately.

Both will resume working for Ivanhoe after having worked at subsidiary company the Kamoa Copper joint venture (JV), in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in recent years.

Farren had been EVP of operations at Ivanhoe between June 2014 and October 2019. As development commenced on Phase 1 of the Kamoa-Kakula Mining Complex, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), he was appointed CEO of the Kamoa Copper JV to lead it through construction and commissioning.

Amos, meanwhile, had worked at VP of metallurgy at Ivanhoe from 2011 to 2019, when he was appointed as Kamoa Copper JV head of projects for the DRC.

“Mr Farren and Mr Amos oversaw the outstanding project delivery of both Kamoa-Kakula Phase 1 and Phase 2, which were both constructed during the Covid-19 pandemic, several months ahead of schedule and on budget.

“[They] will continue to guide the delivery of the extensive Ivanhoe Mines project pipeline. This includes the five-million-tonne-a-year Phase 3 expansion at the Kamoa-Kakula Mining Complex and accompanying direct-to-blister copper smelter with a capacity of 500 000 t/y,” Ivanhoe states.

The company points out that Farren and Amos will, in their new roles, also oversee the construction of the Platreef palladium, rhodium, nickel, platinumcopper and gold project in South Africa and the restart of the high-grade zinc, copper, lead, germanium Kipushi mine in the DRC.

Meanwhile, Riaan Vermeulen had succeeded Farren as MD of the Kamoa Copper JV in June and he is overseeing the delivery of the debottlenecking programme to increase the Phase 1 and 2 processing capacity from 7.6-million to 9.2-million tonnes a year, as well as the Phase 3 prefeasibility study that is planned for release at the end of the year.

In addition, Annebel Oosthuizen has been appointed CE Commercial at Kamoa Copper.

“Mark and Steve are exceptional leaders who have been integral in the highly successful development of the Kamoa-Kakula Mining Complex in the DRC, which now is the fastest growing copper operation on the planet. They demonstrated great ingenuity and tenacity in delivering this world-scale project, alongside our JV partner Zijin Mining, on-time and on-budget despite the many challenges presented by the Covid-19 pandemic.

“They also bring a wealth of industry and operational experience across Africa. We are extremely confident that Mark and Steve will continue to build upon Ivanhoe Mines’ record of operational excellence and industry-leading value creation, as we advance the world-scale Platreef and Kipushi projects to production and continue our journey as we become the world’s next major, diversified mining company,” comments Ivanhoe co-chairperson Robert Friedland.

“These appointments greatly enhance Ivanhoe’s executive team as we undertake an exciting period of industry-leading growth and development. We’re also very confident that the Kamoa Copper JV remains in strong hands, with Riaan and Annebel set to guide the project through the Phase 3 expansion and smelter construction with our partners at Zijin Mining,” adds Ivanhoe president Marna Cloete.

Ivanhoe further reports that Kamoa Copper had milled 686 217 t of ore for the month of August.

It floated 34 408 t of copper – a monthly record – and produced 31 150 t of filtered copper in concentrate for sale. The floated copper production for the month is equivalent to an annualised production rate of about 405 000 t of copper.

As part of the de-bottlenecking initiatives, a fourth Larox filter press from Metso Outotec of Espoo, Finland, is expected to arrive on site in the coming months for commissioning in January 2023.