The KOV mine is the largest high-grade copper resource in the world. It comprises four ore bodies, Kamoto East, Oliveira, Virgule and FNSR, accessed via two pits, Kamoto East and KOV. The Kamoto East pit was operational from 1960 to 1985 and the adjacent KOV pit from 1983 onwards, both under the auspices of the DRC’s state-owned mining company Gécamines.

From 1960 to 2000(when mining activities ceased and the pit flooded), 38 million tonnes of ore containing 2.2 million tonnes of copper and almost 200,000 tonnes of cobalt had been mined. The average copper grade during this period was 5.8% and the average cobalt grade was 0.5%.

The dewatering program began in late 2006 and will continue during 2008. The KOV pit contains approximately 10-12 million cubic meters of water and Kamoto East around 12-15 million cubic meters. The dewatering program includes the drilling of new wells around the pits and the installation of pumps and pipelines. Pre-stripping of the KOV pit will begin during 2008 and dewatering should be in progress by the end of the year.

The Krupp waste crusher, conveyor and stacker system that serves the KOV pit was installed in the early 1990s. It was used only briefly and is in good condition, requiring limited refurbishment.

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Key facts

  • Sulphide ore mine first opened in 1969
  • 59.3 million tonnes of ore mined prior to restart, at an average grade of 4.21% copper and 0.37% cobalt
  • Operations restarted March 2007

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