In early November 2023, Ivanhoe Mines announced an updated greenhouse gas (GHG) assessment, solidifying the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex as the world’s lowest carbon-emitting major copper mine. The complex is forecasted to see a remarkable 46% reduction in GHG emissions per copper unit following the completion of an on-site smelter by Q4 2024, according to the assessment conducted by industry leaders, Skarn Associates and WSP Group.
The state-of-the-art smelter, positioned to be the fourth lowest carbon-emitting smelter across the globe, marks an exciting leap forward. This advancement is bolstered by the refurbishment of Turbine #5 at the Inga II dam, which will supply 178MW of renewable hydroelectric power to the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) grid by Q4 2024.
But the smelter’s benefits don’t stop there. It will also enhance the copper transport’s efficiency by producing high-grade copper anodes, thereby reducing the number of trucks required for transportation.
In our unwavering commitment to sustainability, we are also exploring further emissions reductions through the Lobito Rail Corridor, which will offer a more direct route for copper exportation.
In our quest towards a greener future, we’ve also embarked on the development of a decarbonization strategy, with the assistance of BDO Global. Our strategy targets a net-zero emissions future, responding to the escalating global demand for copper—a critical component in electrification and renewable energy solutions—while acknowledging the pressing need for environmental stewardship in mining operations.
Recognizing the urgency of environmental conservation in mining activities, the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex has made significant strides in reducing its carbon footprint. In 2022, Kamoa-Kakula recorded a GHG emissions intensity of just 0.16 equivalent tonnes of CO2 per tonne of copper produced (CO2-e / t Cu) on a Scope 1 and 2 basis, an impressive feat considering the industry average. This performance can be traced back to the high-grade ore bodies at Kamoa-Kakula and the DRC’s hydroelectricity-driven clean energy grid.
Ivanhoe’s commitment to sustainable practices extends well beyond the Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex. As we continue to uncover new copper deposits in the DRC and advance the Kipushi and Platreef projects, we remain steadfast in placing environmental and social responsibility at the forefront of our operations, Mining with a greater purpose.
Above: Scope 1, 2 & 3 copper GHG emissions18 intensity curve, highlighting Kamoa-Kakula Copper Complex and the other top 10 largest copper mining operations.
Above: 3D visualization of the new Kamoa-Kakula Smelter site in the background, with Kamoa-Kakula’s Phase 1 and 2 concentrators in the foreground-left.