We strive to ensure sustainable consumption and production processes at each of our projects, in order to leave behind a legacy that supports the needs of both present and future generations.
This includes reducing Kamoa Copper’s carbon footprint and working towards continuous improvement of its waste management practices to operate in a clean and climate-smart way. The company will be among the lowest green-house gas emitters per unit of copper produced and has further pledged to become the first net-zero carbon emitter among the world’s top-tier copper mines.
In a bid to supply the critical copper metal needed to help humanity meet the challenges caused by climate change, Kamoa Copper understands that limiting the environmental impact and the carbon footprint of its mining operations is key to mitigating the effects of climate change.
To support the continued successful performance of its mining complex, Kamoa Copper has signed a public-partnership with DRC’s state-owned power company La Société Nationale d’Electricité (SNEL) to secure clean, renewable hydro-generated electricity. Securing sustainable, long-term electricity is essential in the development of Kamoa Copper into one of the world’s largest copper mines.
The first phase of the partnership with SNEL entailed the upgrading of six new turbines at the Mwadingusha hydropower plant, located on the Lufira River about 250 km northeast of the Kakula mine.
The Mwadingusha hydropower plant is fully operational and providing approximately 78 MW of sustainable, clean electricity to the national electrical grid – enough to power Kamoa Copper’s first two phases of production.
Kamoa Copper’s sister company, Ivanhoe Mines Energy DRC, signed an addendum to the partnership with SNEL to upgrade Turbine 5 at the existing Inga II hydropower plant along the Congo River. Turbine 5 is one of four remaining turbines (8 in total) that is awaiting upgrade. Once upgraded, Turbine 5 is estimated to produce 162 MW of renewable hydropower.
Together, these two hydropower plants will provide Kamoa Copper access to a combined 240 MW of clean, renewable electricity.
To further mitigate the effects of climate change and assist the company in meeting its net-zero commitment, Kamoa Copper has pledged to incorporate state-of-the-art equipment powered by electric batteries or hydrogen fuel cells into its mining fleet when they become commercially available – replacing diesel-powered equipment to further reduce carbon emissions and keep its employees safe.
Tailings management entails the storage and management of the finely-ground rock, fine mineral particles and water separated from ore minerals during the milling process in a dedicated and well monitored tailings storage facility. Kamoa Copper has taken a very low risk approach to how we manage our tailings and aim to meet or exceed global good practice for safe tailings management.
Kamoa Copper plans to minimise the surface storage and management of tailings from our mining operations by storing it underground in the mined-out workings. Kamoa Copper has a relatively small environment-footprint because approximately half of the tailings will be mixed with cement and pumped back underground to fill voids and help support the underground mining infrastructure.