Mr. Farren worked at Ivanhoe Mines as Executive Vice President, Operations, between June 2014 and October 2019. As development commenced on Phase 1 of the KamoaKakula Mining Complex, Mr. Farren was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Kamoa Copper Joint Venture to lead it through construction and commissioning. Prior to joining Ivanhoe, Mr. Farren served a total of 22 years, in progressively senior roles, in the South African operations of Johannesburg-based Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), culminating in his appointment as the group’s Head of Mining. Mr. Farren returns to Ivanhoe Mines as Chief Operating Officer effective November 1, 2022.
Mr. Amos, who worked at Ivanhoe Mines from 2011 as Vice President, Metallurgy, was appointed in 2019 to the Kamoa Copper Joint Venture as Head of Projects for the DRC. Mr. Amos has over 30 years of mining industry experience, and began his career working for Anglo American, where he spent 16 years working in the areas of precious metals processing in South Africa and copper processing in Zambia. He then spent 6 years at Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management (EPCM) specialist AMEC Minproc (now part of Wood Group). Mr. Amos returns to Ivanhoe Mines, effective immediately, as Executive Vice President, Projects, and will report to Mr. Farren.
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.
Mr. Farren and Mr. Amos will continue to guide the delivery of the extensive Ivanhoe Mines project pipeline. This includes the 5.0-million-tonne-per annum Phase 3 expansion at the Kamoa-Kakula Mining Complex and accompanying direct-to-blister copper smelter with a capacity of 500,000-tonnes-per-annum. Mr. Farren and Mr. Amos have been actively involved in the early engineering and planning for both projects. In addition, they will oversee the construction of the Platreef palladium, rhodium, nickel, platinum, copper, and gold project in South Africa, and the restart of the high-grade zinc, copper, lead, germanium Kipushi mine in the DRC.
(L-R) Mark Farren, incoming Ivanhoe Mines COO; Steve Amos, Ivanhoe Mines Executive Vice President, Projects; and Wimpie Steyn, Kamoa Copper Risk Control Manager, holding some of Kamoa-Kakula’s first copper concentrate in March 2021.
As previously announced, Mr. Riaan Vermeulen replaced Mr. Farren as the Managing Director of the Kamoa Copper Joint Venture in June 2022, following a transition period. Mr. Vermeulen has more than 32 years of underground and open-pit mining experience in various operational, project and technical management roles, including Acting Head of Mining: Base Metals for Anglo American. Mr. Vermeulen also worked closely with Mr. Farren at Anglo Platinum, where they designed and built Anglo Platinum’s most efficient underground mine, the Middelpunt Hill Platinum Mine in South Africa.
Mr. Vermeulen is currently overseeing the delivery of the debottlenecking program to increase the Phase 1 and 2 processing capacity from 7.6 million to 9.2 million tonnes per annum, as well as the Phase 3 Pre-Feasibility Study that is planned for release at the end of the year.
In addition, Ms. Annebel Oosthuizen was appointed as the Chief Executive, Commercial for Kamoa Copper. She joined the Kamoa-Kakula project in 2015 and has served in progressively senior roles within the finance department, most recently as Executive, Finance.
Ms. Oosthuizen has 15 years of financial management experience in the mining sector across Africa. She was appointed to Kamoa Copper’s Executive Committee in 2020 and has served a critical role in ensuring a seamless and successful transition from KamoaKakula’s development phase to its operational phase, as well as the commercial management of the self-funded Phase 2 expansion and the upcoming Phase 3 and smelter expansions.
Mr. Vermeulen and Ms. Oosthuizen will serve as Ivanhoe Mines senior management designees under the Kamoa-Kakula joint-venture.
(L-R) Annebel Oosthuizen the Chief Executive, Commercial & Riaan Vermeulen the Managing Director of 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 Democratic Republic of Congo, 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 joint-venture 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’ track-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."
Ivanhoe Mines President Marna Cloete added:
“We are very happy to welcome Mark and Steve back to the Ivanhoe family. They did a fantastic job leading large, multinational teams alongside our joint venture partners during Kamoa-Kakula’s development. The experience they gained during that process will be invaluable as we embark on mine construction activities at Platreef and Kipushi. Mark and Steve have demonstrated the energy, commitment and ability needed to plan and execute world-scale construction projects, and successfully advance tier-one ore bodies to production, while also creating strong working environments built on safety, teamwork, and compassion. 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 Joint Venture 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."
Kamoa Copper floated record 34,408 tonnes of copper in August.
During the month of August, Kamoa Copper milled 686,217 tonnes of ore at an average feed grade of 5.8% copper, equivalent to an annualized processing rate of approximately 8.2 million tonnes for Phase 1 and 2.
Kamoa Copper floated 34,408 tonnes of copper, a monthly record, and produced 31,150 tonnes of filtered copper in concentrate for sale. The floated copper production for the month is equivalent to an annualized production rate of approximately 405,000 tonnes of copper.
The difference between floated and filtered copper arises because of the current bottleneck in filter capacity as the Phase 1 and 2 milling and flotation circuit continues to exceed design capacity. Floated copper is temporarily stored as a slurry in a fully lined dam, which is estimated to contain approximately 6,500 tonnes of copper as at end of August, until it can be reclaimed in the concentrate thickener and filter press.
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. In the meantime, Kamoa Copper management are working on initiatives to maximize the capacity of the existing three filter presses.
Construction activities for Kamoa-Kakula’s fourth Larox concentrate filter press are advancing well. This is part of Kamoa-Kakula’s de-bottlenecking program to boost Phase 1 and Phase 2 ore throughput to 9.2 million tonnes per annum.